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THE RELIGION OF THE 
SCRIPTURES 

Papers from the Catholic Bible Congress 
held at Cambridge, July 16—19, 1921 




'Ignorafio Scripturarum ignoratio Chrisii est 



[Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged.] 




CAMBRIDGE 

W. HEFFER & SONS LTD. 

1921 



LIBRARY OF THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 



PRINCETON, N. J. 



BS 540 ,R3 1921 

The religion of the 
Scriptures 



THE RELIGION OF THE SCRIPTURES 



THE RELIGION OF THE 
SCRIPTURES 

Papers from the Catholic Bible Congress 
held at Cambridge, July i6 — 19, 1921 



Edited by 

The Rev. C. LATTEY, S. J. 

(M.A., OxoN.) 

Professor of Holy Scripture at St. Beuno's College, 

North Wales, Author of Back to Christy etc., 

Joint Editor of the Westminster 

Version of the Sacred 

Scriptures 



CatV^o\\c ^^iuw-rner "ScViool LectuYtrs 



[^Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged.^ 



CAMBRIDGE 

W. HEFFER & SONS LTD. 

1921 



First Edition 

Nihil Obstat 

L. W. Geddes, S.I. 

Censor deputaius 



Imprimatur 

•i« Frederick William 

Archbishop of Liverpool 

Administrator of the Diocese of Northampton 



June 23, ig2i 



Second Edition 
Nihil Obstat 

L. W. Geddes, S.I. 

Censor deputaius 

Imprimatur 

J. H. Canon Ashmole 

Vicar Capitular of the Diocest of Northampton 



October 13, 1921 



PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION. 

At the time when this preface must be written the 
CathoUc Bible Congress at Cambridge is still in the 
future. Its essential character is that of a religious 
celebration in honour of the fifteenth centenary of St. 
Jerome, the great bibhcal doctor of the Latin rite, as 
St. John Chrysostom was that of the Greek ; the former 
especially eminent in work upon the Old Testament, the 
latter in work upon the New, the former powerful in 
work as a pioneer of Western asceticism, the latter 
glorious for all time as the model of the Christian 
preacher. The present is a time especially opportune 
for honouring St. Jerome, seeing that his great work, 
the Latin Version of the Bible known as the Vulgate, 
is about to renew its youth, brought forth in primitive 
accuracy through the learned labours of Cardinal 
Gasquet and the Benedictine commission. The Vulgate, 
in origin and revision, will be one of the dominating 
thoughts of the Congress, and in this httle book receives 
a full meed of praise from one competent to bestow it. 

But a more profound purpose underUes the Congress. 
With Pope Leo XIIL's issue of the encychcal Providen- 
ttssimus Deus in 1893 began a new era for Bibhcal 
studies in the Church, which from that time have made 
steady advance, ever deepening and widening their 
course. In the recent encychcal Spiritus Paracliius 
the present Holy Father prays " for all the children of 
the Church, that penetrated and strengthened by the 



vi PREFACE 

sweetness of Holy Writ, they may attain to the sur- 
passing knowledge of Jesus Christ." To help them in 
so holy a purpose is a further object of the Congress, 
and indeed, to contribute something to that " right 
interpretation, defence and pious meditation of Holy 
Scripture " for which the Holy Father desires supplica- 
tion through St. Jerome to be made (Acta Apostolicae 
Sedis, Vol. XH., pp. 422, 440). 

The mention of " defence " brings us to another aspect 
of the matter. The Providentissimus Deus is also a 
landmark in the progress of rationalism ; it meant that 
the Holy See recognised that the absolute authority of 
the written Word of God was no longer acknowledged 
by all who called themselves Christians. And this fact 
has a peculiar significance for our country, where there 
are many, it may be hoped, who have not lost their love 
for Holy Writ, and would gladly retain their faith in it. 
These, too, the Congress is designed in some measure to 
help, and of necessity the Congress papers also. 

The central theme chosen for the lectures, and con- 
sequently for this book, has been the practical issue of 
Biblical religion. A preliminary explanation of the 
Catholic standpoint has been ably drawn up by two 
fathers of the Catholic Missionary Society. The religion 
of the Old Testament, and thereafter the religion of the 
New, is then set forth, both on the institutional side 
(the Law, the Church), and in its more personal appeal 
(the Prophets, Christ). The paper from Dr. Barry is 
of itself a pertinent reminder that St. Jerome in his 
scholarly and penitential life purposed to be, and in 
truth was, an exponent of Biblical religion to Western 
civilisation. " Ignorance of the Scriptures," he declares 
in the prologue to his commentary upon Isaiah, in words 



PREFACE vii 

that find applauding echo alike in the Providentissimus 
Deus and the Spiritus Paraclitus, " is ignorance of 
Christ." Finally, His Lordship the Bishop of Salford, 
offers us a good illustration of the way in which even 
eminent scholars may pass from exact philology to 
somewhat reckless processes of " higher criticism." 
Such methods are so great a hindrance to solid and 
responsible Biblical study that His Lordship's remarks 
form an apt and welcome conclusion to this little book, 
a plea that Holy Scripture must be saved even from 
some would-be friends. 



In dealing with such vast subjects, the writers of these 
papers have found themselves obliged to be content 
with the mere selection of what seemed most important 
and relevant. Here, too, it must be enough to indicate 
the most vital conclusion. In Holy Scripture we have 
documents pointing to a very high form of religious 
experience, and setting forth the conditions under which 
it was realised, at first in an imperfect form under the 
Old Covenant, and then in the developed universalism 
of the New. Three elements appear to dominate this 
experience, namely, faith as the root of the whole, love 
as the vital sap, the driving force, leading to entire self- 
surrender to a personal God, speaking of old through the 
prophets, and in the end through His Incarnate Son — 
and finally, organic life, without which religion lacks 
the unity and responsibility demanded alike by human 
nature and the Infinite Majesty of God. In place of 
this we find about us a blind groping after the truth, an 
intolerable disunion, a nervous fear to commit oneself, 
or even that desire to test results which inevitably 



viii PREFACE 

excludes from all that is noblest and best in religious 
experience. 

Faith, intellectual affirmation, is in fact essential to 
the experience ; any other assumption proves at long 
last to be fundamentally wrong. Even according to the 
modern Gospel, the very experience should be its own 
guarantee, the surpassing quantity and quality of the 
religious experience engendered by fidelity to the 
principles outlined above. Nevertheless, one must be 
quit of ignorant prejudice, and the cant about " formal- 
ism " and the like, which sometimes blinds the eyes of 
the unwary. To see clearly and to understand will at 
least be an invitation to partake : to partake is to thirst 
for more : to drink deep is to know none other wine. 

C. L. 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 

The rapid sale of the first edition of a thousand copies is 
yet another welcome sign that the Catholic Bible Congress 
has in large measure fulfilled its purpose. This success 
it is only right to record, though it be but briefly. 
Whether from a religious and liturgical point of view, 
or by reason of the numbers and attention of those who 
assisted, or again in regard of the gracious welcome 
extended by Town and University, it was a wonderful 
fulfilment to an undertaking too novel to be altogether 
free from misgivings. From the present writer, as 
organizer of the lectures, are due hearty thanks to all 
the lecturers, and also to the executive committee, with 
whom he found it easy to work in perfect harmony. 
His Grace the present Archbishop of Liverpool, from 
whom came the first initiative. His Eminence the Cardinal 
Archbishop of Westminster, His Grace the Archbishop of 
Birmingham, and the other Bishops of the Hierarchy, are 
evidently to be regarded as the founders rather than as 
the benefactors of the Congress; but their presence in 
strength made their support all the more powerful. 

Shortly before the meeting of the Congress, and pre- 
sumably by way of antidote, a pamphlet appeared in 
Cambridge, which has since passed into a second edition. 
In the discussion of one of the chief points — in a manner 
by far the chief point — the present writer felt himself 
called upon to take some part. This has resulted in a 
lengthy appendix to the second edition of the pamphlet ; 



X PREFACE 

a reply upon the main issue will be found in an Appendix 
to this volume. For a discussion of other issues raised, 
however, it may be well to refer to the Tablet for the 
present year (many numbers) and to the Dublin Review 
(January and September); also to articles by F. 
Thurston, S.J., in the Month for August, 1921 ("Bible 
Reading and Bible Prohibition") and in the Catholic 
Encyclopedia (Vol. V., 1909: "England before the 
Reformation"). In the Catholic Encyclopedia Fr. 
Thurston notes that the view that the so-called Wycliffe 
Bible has no connexion with Wyclif, "cannot be said 
to have found general acceptance" (pp. 441-2). In 
the August Month he writes: "It is the general opinion 
of those who have paid most attention to this special 
branch of research — not only of Catholics like Janssen 
and Jostes, but also of such non-Catholic authorities 
as Walther, Gairdner and S. Berger — that the Church 
of the Middle Ages did not systematically keep the Bible 
out of the hands of the people or forbid vernacular 
renderings on principle" (p. 159). 

A little after the Catholic Bible Congress, the " Modern 
Churchmen's Conference" was held at Cambridge, a 
grim set-off thereto, and to all that is written in the 
original preface to this work. The editorial preface 
to the Cambridge Conference Number of The Modern 
Churchman refers to "the note of affirmation which 
runs all through the Christological papers," and of the 
effort of the Conference leaders to be constructive. To 
most readers will be more painfully evident the absence 
of any clear assertion of the one great affirmation that 
matters, that Christ is truly God, as the Scriptures most 
certainly teach. Though, indeed, it is not difficult to 
see that God Himself is to be the next "problem" for 



PREFACE xi 

Christianity of this type. If, however, being such as 
He is, He has vouchsafed a revelation to man, then to 
grope about in the dark is not freedom, not even " genuine 
intellectual freedom," but blindness. In that flood of 
admirable light to live and love to the uttermost — such 
at least is the Religion of the Scriptures. 

C. L. 



CONTENTS. 

PAG& 

I. INSPIRATION I 

By the Rev. J. P. Arendzew, D.D., M.A., Old 
Testament Professor at St. Edmund's College, 
Ware, and the Rev. R. Downey, D.D., both of 
the Catholic Missionary Society, London. 

II. THE MOSAIC LAW ,8 

By the Rev. T. E. Bird, D.D., Ph.D., Professor of 

Holy Scripture at Oscott College, Birmingham. 

III. THE PROPHETS ^, 

By the Rev. C. Lattey, S.J., M.A. 

IV. CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT - - 56 
By the Rev. C. C. Martindale, S.J., M.A., of 

Campion Hall, Oxford (author of The Life of 
Robert Hugh Benson, The New Testament, etc.) 

V. THE ORGANIZED CHURCH IN THE NEW 

TESTAMENT 71 

By the Rev. R. A. Knox, M.A., of St. Edmund's 
College, Ware, sometime Fellow of Trinity 
College, Oxford (author of A Spiritual Aeneid, 
Meditations on the Psalms, etc.) 

VI. ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER - - 87 

By Canon William Barry, D.D., Rector of St. 
Peter's, Leamington, sometime Professor of 
Theology at Oscott College (author of The 
Tradition of Scripture, etc.) 

VII. THE GENESIS OF A MYTH : A Note on the 
Supposed Origin of Tobit (Tobias) - - loi 

By the Rt. Rev. L. C. Casartelli, Bishop of Salford 
M.A., D.Litt.Or., D.D., Hon. M.R.A.S., some- 
time Professor of Zend and Pehlevi at Louvain 
University (author of La Philosophie religieust 
du MazdHsme sous les Sassanides, etc.) 



VIII. APPENDIX : Dr. Coulton and the Heavenly 
Witnesses 

By the Rev. C. Lattey, S.J M.A. 



107 



I. 

INSPIRATION. 

By the Rev. J. P. Arendzen, D.D., M.A., and the 
Rev. R. Downey, D.D. 

According to the Catholic Church the Bible is 
different from all other books in the world in that it is 
INSPIRED, What does she mean by this word inspired ? 
She does not mean it in an off-hand, general, vague sort 
of sense in which Shakespeare, Milton, Dante, or other 
great poets are said to be inspired, or as great reformers, 
poHticians, lawyers may be inspired in expressing high 
ideals. The inspiration she predicates of the Bible is 
different not merely in degree but in kind, from that 
human enthusiasm for the beautiful, the noble, the good, 
which carries away poets and pohticians in their speeches 
and books. The Catholic Church means something not 
merely human, but something in a unique sense divine. 

Again she does not mean that the Bible is merely a 
record of an inspired nation or of the careers of inspired 
prophets, such as Moses, Isaias, or Amos. The Old 
Testament does indeed contain the record of a divine 
revelation, but such a record might well in itself be 
merely human, not divine. 

She does not mean that the contents of the Bible 
are necessarily revealed by God, for obviously the Bible 
contains a great deal that is not revealed at all — long 
books full of historical records, in some cases laboriously 

I 



2 INSPIRATION 

gathered from pre-existing works and writings, such as 
the Book of the Wars of the Lord, or the five books of 
Jason, of which II. Maccabees is a resume, or the sources 
which St. Luke diligently searched and often verbally 
copied into his gospel. 

She does not mean that inspiration is necessarily a sort 
of conscious state of the writer when he penned his 
inspired book. Obviously in many cases the inspired 
writer did not himself know that he was inspired. 
Apparently St. Luke did not know, clearly the author 
of II. Maccabees did not know, otherwise he would 
scarcely have asked the leniency of his readers for his 
literary shortcomings. Some authors may have known 
personally that they were inspired, but the Catholic 
Church has in no individual case decided whether they 
knew or not. 

She does not mean that the Bible is merely guaranteed 
by God as being true and containing no error. Inerrancy 
is one thing, inspiration another. She believes the ex 
cathedra definition of Popes to be infallibly true, but 
she has never made the claim that they were inspired. 
It is infallibly true to say that there was a war between 
England and Germany from 1914 to 1918, but the state- 
ment could hardly be described as inspned. 

She does not mean that the Bible in a supreme sort 
of way is devotional or stimulating to faith or piety, or 
that it is the highest expression of souls in mystic union 
of God. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas k Kempis 
IS much more devotional, sublime, and stimulating to 
piety than, say, the Book of Leviticus or Numbers or 
Ecclesiastes. 

She does not mean by inspiration the drawing up of 
the catalogue or list of books, put by her in the Canon 



INSPIRATION 3 

of Scripture, or the Library of Sacred Books of Jewry 
and Christianity, as if her registration in the official 
rehgious hbrary of Christianity or her official sanction 
and approval made these books inspired. She utterly 
repudiates such a notion. She cannot make a book 
inspired, though she believes herself empowered in- 
fallibly to decide that a book has been inspired by God. 

She does not mean that the Sacred Books are inspired 
because they have been written by prophets or apostles. 
In many instances she does not know who wrote the 
books of the Old Testament — to suppose that prophets 
wrote them would be utterly gratuitous. Mark and 
Luke were not apostles ; the end of Mark may be by a 
person totally unknown. She does not teach as of 
faith that St. Peter approved of St. Mark, or St. Paul 
of St. Luke, as if apostolic approbation were of the 
essence of inspiration. Inspired for her is far more 
than merely being backed by the authority of prophets 
or apostles. 

She does not mean that the Old Testament is accounted 
inspired because it is the official sacred literature of the 
Jews as the people of God, or the New Testament 
because it contains the official record of earliest 
Christianity. But if she does not mean any of these 
things, what then does she mean ? 

She does not mean that at any time God whispered 
audibly, or within the mind of the human author 
miraculously created the mental pictures or phantasms 
of the words, and that the sacred writer had only to copy 
out what was given to him by the Deity. It is too 
obvious that these sacred writers kept their own style 
and mode of expression and remained in some sense 
"just themselves," though they were inspired. 



4 INSPIRATION 

Inspiration is some kind of unique relation in the order 
of efficient causality between God and the inspired book. 
Such inspiration is a supernatural fact, by its very 
nature known only to God and to whomsoever He 
pleases to reveal it. Hence the only judge whether a 
book is inspired or not is the Catholic Church. As is 
well known, she hands to her children as inspired the 
books of Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, 
Baruch and the two books of the Maccabees, together 
with the last seven chapters of the book of Esther, and 
some chapters in the Book of Daniel. These writings 
are not accounted inspired by Protestants, and are 
styled by them Apocrypha. Yet they are attested as 
inspired by the same authority which attests the in- 
spiration of the Gospels or the Epistles of St. Paul. 
If that authority erred in attesting the inspiration of 
Ecclesiasticus, it may have erred in attesting the inspira- 
tion of St. Mark, and the only ground on which our assent 
to the inspiration of any book in the Bible rests would 
be gone. Inspiration is a fact in itself not ascertainable 
by unaided human reason, and depending for its pro- 
clamation exclusively on revelation from God, who 
alone can attest that a certain writing stands in that 
imique relation to Himself. 

God Himself is the author of the Book. The divine 
and the human author do not share the production of 
the book in the sense that one half of it is God's and the 
other half man's. It is totally God's and totally man's. 
God is the primary Author, using a free agent as His 
instrument. They are but instrumental causes in the 
hands of God. 

Who these agents were, Moses, or Isaias, or Matthew, 
is a matter of indifference as regards the fact of inspira- 



INSPIRATION 5 

tion, and in consequence not necessarily confided to the 
teaching authority of the Church. In the case of some 
writings she clearly professes ignorance as to who the 
human authors were and lets her children freely dispute 
about the human authorship. In other cases where the 
authorship of a particular human being seems demanded, 
either by an apparently unbroken tradition, or by reason 
of the relation of the book to other Scripture texts, or 
because the question of authorship is bound up with the 
maintenance of certain revealed doctrines, she has 
gravely warned her children not too easily to set aside 
the commonly reputed author. She could, moreover, 
although she has never as yet done so, define infallibly 
the human authorship of certain books if she found 
this implied in the deposit of the Faith. Thus she 
might define the Davidic authorship of some Psalms, 
because of their being quoted as such by Christ, or the 
Mosaic authorship of some sections of the Pentateuch 
because it is implied in our Lord's reference to Moses as 
testifying to Him. 

Now inspiration necessarily involves the absolute 
veracity of every statement of the Bible; for as God 
wrote it, and God cannot He, the Bible cannot contain 
error of any kind. This complete inerrancy of Scripture 
does not, however, of necessity imply that every state- 
ment must be taken in a literal sense, and as true in 
that literal sense. 

God speaks to men in a human way, and He speaks to 
them in a language representing a certain period of 
human progress. He uses language commonly used 
by the contemporaries of the human writer. The " sun 
rises and sets," the rain " comes down from heaven." 
Even in reference to historical matters He uses terms 



6 INSPIRATION 

and designations in currency at the time. If God 
referred to the battle between William and Harold in 
1066, He might call it the " Battle of Hastings," 
because that is the only term now used to designate that 
particular conflict, though some people now try to show 
the inaccuracy of that local designation. The Bible, 
however, could not contain a definite assertion that a 
certain battle took place at a certain date and locality, 
if this were not really true. Any statement which is 
the direct assertion of a certain fact must be true, 
for God can neither deceive nor be deceived. 

Furthermore, God can use any literary composition 
He chooses. God could inspire a novel if He so chose. 
Apparently He has not done so, but there is nothing 
in the doctrine of inspiration which would preclude 
the possibihty. God can inspire poetry. The Book 
of Job is in metrical lines practically throughout. It is 
poetry, hence we are not bound to believe that Job sat 
on the dunghill and recited hundreds on hundreds of 
verses, and that his friends answered him in verse too. 
The Book of Job is inspired throughout, and is abso- 
lutely true throughout, but it must be understood as 
poetry is normally understood. 

What, then, does inspiration really involve ? Here we 
can only quote the passage of Leo. XIII.'s Provideniis- 
simus Deus, issued in 1893, which has become classical 
in its precise exposition of the results of inspiration as 
far as we can understand it. Herein we learn that the 
Holy Ghost "by supernatural power so moved and 
impelled them [the sacred writers] to write — He was so 
present to them — that the things which He ordered, 
and those only, they, first, rightly understood, then 
willed faithfully to write down and finally expressed 



INSPIRATION 7 

in apt words and with infallible truth. Otherwise it 
could not be said that He was author of the entire 
Scripture." 

If we analyse this classical passage we find first of 
all that it excludes the notion — already by implication 
condemned by the Vatican Council — that a writing 
could become inspired by any subsequent approbation, 
adoption or guarantee of infallibility by the Holy 
Ghost. The action of the Holy Ghost is antecedent 
and concomitant, but not subsequent to the composi- 
tion of the book. It is an impulse and a movement 
not a following sanction. Then we find that it describes 
the effect produced by divine action on the human 
faculties, that is to say : the intelligence, the will and the 
executive faculties. God first moved the will. The 
initiative comes from God. He set the human will in 
action by physical premotion. He moved the human 
writer spontaneously and freely to write the book which 
God willed to be written precisely as God willed it. 
How God can move the human will without forcing it 
we do not understand. It is not a question that need 
detain us here. The writer was often aware of this 
inspiration, oftentimes he was not. Then God illumines 
the mind so that the mind correctly conceives the book 
to be written. Not that God necessarily reveals any- 
thing, for everything contained in the book may already 
have been known, or laboriously gathered from other 
informants or books ; not that God must needs throw 
words or sentences as it were from outside on to the 
screen of the mind, but God enhghtens the mind and, 
supematurally aiding the intellect, makes it conceive, 
judge, reason, as He wills, without necessarily adding 
to the objects of knowledge. Finally, God so guards 



8 INSPIRATION 

the executive faculties, hand, eye, ear, memory, that 
what the writer conceived and willed to write is written 
correctly. 

In consequence, God is the primary author of the book 
when finished. True the style of Isaias is not the style 
of Jeremias, just as a man writing with a quill produces 
other script than a man who writes with a steel nib. 
God used a living, free-will and an intelligent agent, 
and used them exactly as they were. He could have 
used other instruments, but He did not. He could 
have overridden imperfections of style, but He did not. 
He vidlled the book as it is. Hence, though we do not 
hold verbal inspiration in the sense that the words were 
directly supplied to the human author by God, never- 
theless God is immediately responsible for, and acknow- 
ledges as His own, the whole of the Scriptures and every 
word of it, so that we cannot say either that now and 
then words or sentences slipped through which were un- 
inspired and merely human, or that the words are human 
and only the underlying thoughts divine. The ultimate 
result of inspiration is the written book, not the internal 
thoughts of the writer. Least of all, of course, dare we 
say that the devotional or religious parts are God's and 
the matters pertaining to revelation or moraUty, but 
that the historical parts are only human. As God, 
then, is the author of the Bible, for the CathoHc there 
never can be any question as to its truth, the only 
question is as to its meaning. In discussing this meaning 
CathoHc scholars have in a few cases the infalHble 
decision of the Church, which has settled definitely the 
meaning of a small number of texts. For the bulk, 
however, they are left to the resources of scholarship 
to infer the meaning from the context, from the inter- 



INSPIRATION 9 

pretation of antiquity, and from the light thrown upon 
them by history and science. Hence, Cathohc BibUcal 
scholars are untrammelled in their scientific research 
work with regard to the Bible. The decisions some- 
times issued by lower — not infallible — tribunals of the 
Church on BibUcal matters must, indeed, be received 
with internal as well as external reverence, but they 
aim at producing a much-needed and rational caution 
in treating such a sacred matter as the Written Word of 
God. Catholic scholars of whatever eminence realise 
that, official, though not final, utterances of Church 
authorities, to whom the custody of the Bible is divinely 
committed, are at least more likely to be true than the 
findings of their own individual scholarship. 

CathoHcs, then, in studying the Bible realise that they 
are face to face now with poetry, now with prose, now 
with primitive history but metaphorically told, now 
with history proper in its minute and modern sense, 
now with law, now with exhortation and prophecy ; 
and all need their own rules of interpretation. Yet 
inspiration is not something which ebbs and flows, 
which is at its highest say in St. John or Isaias, at its 
lowest in Leviticus or Judges. It is as inspiration 
something absolute, a fact admitting no degrees. True 
St. John, when he wrote the Prologue to his Gospel, 
may have been favoured by divine revelation, whereas 
the author of II. Maccabees was not. But revelation is 
not inspiration, and the Fourth Gospel and II. Maccabees 
are equally inspired. 

But you may ask what does inspiration in the case 
of II. Maccabees really come to ? It is only an abridg- 
ment of the five books of Jason. Were these books 
extant we might find the whole of the Bible book in 



10 INSPIRATION 

the larger uninspired work, with the exception perhaps 
of a sentence here and there. 

To this we answer it was God who wrote II. Maccabees, 
using the material of Jason's book, hence God reaffirmed 
his statements and made them His own by His selection 
and endorsement and embodiment in His book, thus 
becoming truly author of them as they stand in 
II. Maccabees. 

But again you may ask : may we not see in the Bible 
a great number of tacit quotations, passages which are 
just given for what they are worth, and therefore not 
adopted by the inspired writer as his own, and thus 
possibly containing many errors for which the human 
authors of the sources only are responsible ? Cannot 
we say that Moses or Isaias or Ezra make a quotation 
while declining responsibility for its truth ? 

Speaking in the abstract, this is possible, and a small 
number of such quotations might possibly be found, 
but we are warned by the Church not to extend this 
"tacit quotation" theory beyond its true limits. Such 
quotations are only to be admitted on the gravest and 
clearest grounds, and in individual instances, for the 
wholesale application of this theory is utterly alien to 
the mind of the Church, and would completely eviscerate 
the Bible of its contents and make inspiration a phantom 
and a mockery. Would our concept of inspiration 
allow us to acknowledge that Biblical history was only 
history as it was understood in those days with all the 
latitude allowed to such primitive history ? When, for 
instance, speeches are put on the lips of Peter and Paul 
in the Acts of the Apostles, may we regard them as we 
do the speeches put into the mouth of various worthies 
by Livy or Caesar, which no one believes were actually 



INSPIRATION II 

spoken, but just manufactured by the historian to 
express what one may well guess to have been the 
sentiments of the party concerned ? Speaking purely 
in the abstract, this might have been conceivable, but 
it is not admissible in the concrete. With regard to the 
words put on the lips of Our Lord and His Apostles in 
the New Testament, the Church, which hands us the 
books as inspired, also hands them to us as historically 
correct in detail. What sort of method a Matthew, a 
John, or a Luke pursued in their own historical books is 
as a matter of fact known within the Church on historic 
data. With regard to the words of the Saviour Himself, 
mere common sense would suggest that unless they were 
truly His as they stand, and not merely the historian's 
idea of what the situation demanded, they would be 
valueless. Since, however, trifling variations occur in 
the same speeches as recorded by different evangelists, 
and since, as a matter of fact, these speeches of Our Lord 
are only given in a Greek translation, not in the Aramaic 
original, it is plain that inspiration did not supply as it 
were shorthand reports of the words as actually spoken, 
but as a veracious listener of truthful memory would 
correctly render a speech which he had heard. Mistakes 
in report would be irreconcilable with the veracity of 
the Primary Author, i.e. God ; but imperfection, not 
implying falsehood, God might of course allow. For 
Catholics the speeches in the New Testament are recorded 
by the Holy Ghost Himself, for He is the Primary Author 
of the Sacred Books, hence inaccuracy, as far as it 
impUes any element of untruth, is utterly excluded ; 
but such imperfections and lack of completeness as may 
arise from the imperfection of the secondary or instru- 
mental cause, i.e. the human author, may be admitted. 



12 INSPIRATION 

Hence, for instance, the omission of the Petrine text 
Tu es Petrus, etc., from St. Mark might conceivably be due 
to the fact that St. Mark did not know it. Personally, 
we do not think this opinion is historically tenable, but 
that is on account of historical convictions, not theo- 
logical prepossessions. Any inference, however, that 
because the Petrine text occurs only in St. Matthew, it 
is somehow of less value or certainty, is against funda- 
mental CathoHc principle, for the complete weight of 
divine authority is at the back of every text in St. 
Matthew on account of its inspiration. 

That St. Matthew or St. John should give us not strict 
history, but rather the "Christ of faith" at the end of 
the First Century, the Christ as conceived by the first 
Christian community, not as He was in historical fact, 
is formally excluded, not only by the literary form of the 
Gospels, which is evidently historical in the strict sense, 
and not imaginative, but is likewise directly excluded 
by the common teaching of the Church throughout the 
centuries, which gave these gospels to her children 
as in the strictest detail historical throughout. This 
common teaching or magisterium quotidianum is an 
undeniable historical fact and an infalhble criterion of 
truth just as much as the magisterium solemne exercised 
now and then by Pope or Council. Moreover, even if we 
could concede that St. Matthew or St. John gave us only 
the Christ as conceived at the end of the first century, 
this "Christ of faith" would still be identical with the 
Christ of history, not merely because it is historically 
untenable that the Christian community should have 
changed the character of its Founder during the lifetime 
of those who had intimately known the twelve Apostles 
and Paul, but because the teaching body of the Church 



INSPIRATION 13 

between bo and 120 a.d. would on this supposition have 
erred. Such a supposition is destructive of the funda- 
mental doctrine of Catholicity, which maintains that the 
Church is infallible every minute of her existence between 
Pentecost and the Second Coming of Christ. 

More difficult is the question of the interpretation of 
the first ten chapters of Genesis — whether they may not 
contain history indeed, but metaphorically told. Here 
again the fact of inspiration by itself only guarantees 
that they cannot contain anything at variance with the 
veracity or dignity of God. For further study of their 
meaning it is necessary to appeal, not to inspiration, 
but to the interpretation to be gathered from the text 
itself and from the teaching of the Church. The Church 
decidedly rejects the idea of their being sagas, or myths, 
or legends, or merely moral truths, or merely ideas 
expressed in parables. The Church has ever maintained 
that they are historical, though real history may be 
metaphorically told. One could narrate the story of 
the Great War 1 9 14- 1 918 under the symbols of a struggle 
between the Lion, the Eagle, the Cock, the Bear and 
the Ewe Lamb, signifying Britain, Germany, France, 
Russia and Belgium. Yet such an account would be 
history, not legend — real history, but metaphorically 
told. Thus with regard to the creation of Man and the 
Fall, the Church teaches that these things are facts, 
not IDEAS clothed in story form ; but she does not insist 
that the facts of God's immediate creation of Man, His 
secondary creation of woman, their being placed in a 
privileged supernatural condition, their temptation by 
an external Evil Agent, their fall, their punishment, 
may not have been clothed to some extent in symbolic 
phraseology. It is possible. It is not irreconcilable 



14 INSPIRATION 

with the idea of inspiration. Perhaps some reader may 
at this point exclaim : "Where is all this going to stop ? 
Once you begin to whittle down the literal meaning the 
whole historical edifice crumbles." But the Catholic 
has his immediate and ready answer : "It is going to 
stop the very instant the Church wants it to stop." 
Her decision is absolutely final. She possesses within 
herself the inexhaustible source of all the means to 
defend and to further the maintenance of God's revela- 
tion amongst her children, and should an answer to 
these questions ever become a real need of the faithful, 
she will answer them. 

Meanwhile, it is not true to say that to allow the 
metaphorical meaning of some passages must mean 
the destruction of the whole edifice, for in his interpreta- 
tion the Catholic scholar is continually guided by the 
conviction that no interpretation can be right which 
would reflect on the divine veracity or dignity of the 
Primary Author. We are interpreting a book written 
by God, and our interpretation is cautious and restrained, 
because the Catholic scholar realises that one day he 
shall stand before the judgment seat of that book's 
Author, and He may hold it a crime if with careless ease 
we have tinkered away at the book He wrote. 

Moreover, Catholic scholars have not merely the 
bare text itself to go by. They have to consult the 
interpretation which, as a matter of fact, has been given 
by the Fathers of the Church before them. If the inter- 
pretations of these Fathers are given only as a matter 
of their own private speculation, they are not matter 
of faith, but only to be respected according to the weight 
and position of them as scholars and thinkers. But if 
such interpretations are given as merely handing down 



INSPIRATION 15 

the traditional meaning current in the Church, and if such 
traditional meaning is accepted as part of the revelation 
originally committed to the Church or as a necessary 
deduction therefrom, then such interpretation is in- 
fallibly true, and no scholar may set it aside. 

Maybe no Pope or Council has ever made it a matter 
of solemn definition, none the less for those who realise 
that as a matter of fact such is the teaching of the 
Church, it constitutes an absolutely final authority, even 
before the rare solemnity of an anathema to its contra- 
dictors. Thus there is no Ukelihood of CathoHc scholars 
rashly abandoning the Mosaic authorship of the bulk of 
the Pentateuch. First of all, they retain greater liberty 
in face of the formidable array of modem non-CathoUc 
scholars, who proclaim as settled acquisition of modern 
learning the well-known J.E.D.P.H.R. division of the 
Hexateuch. Then, furthermore, the very importance 
of the matter involved and the (at least apparent) 
endorsement of Mosaic authorship by the Saviour and 
the very constancy of the tradition supporting it, all these 
things render Catholic scholars not less but rather more 
scientific in their treatment of that sacred text. 

With the infallible authority of the Church behind 
them CathoHc scholars possess a freedom and fearlessness 
of interpretation which none but they can fully have. 
Take, for instance, their study of the Six days of Crea- 
tion. Some have maintained that these were long ages 
of evolution, others that they were days only seen in 
vision by Adam, for previous to man's creation there was 
no man to witness what happened, and God only could 
reveal, which He did under this s3nTibolism ; others saw 
in this chapter a Psalm in which with poetical imagery 
God's week's work was sung ; others agEiin saw in it a 



i6 INSPIRATION 

counterblast to the worship of Sun and Moon and Tiu 
and Wodan and Thor and Freia and Satur, as later on 
they came to be called, the gods to whom the days of 
week were dedicated, that the Jews might dedicate their 
week to the Creator and not to His creatures ; others, 
again, a transformation of the oldest account of creation 
corrupted through superstitions and polytheism. 

As with the days of Creation, so with the story of the 
Creation of Adam in the second chapter. If ever the 
theory of evolution should cease to be the mere theory 
it is now and be scientifically proven, no Catholic 
bibhcal scholar will claim that of itself the bibUcal 
account of man's creation makes an apphcation of 
evolution to man's body impossible. The soul is the 
immediate creation of God, for the Church teaches so ; the 
biblical account of the origin of man's body is certainly 
partially metaphorical, for God has no physical breath 
to breathe into the human form He made. How far the 
metaphor goes the Bible itself does not decide. 

So likewise with the prodigiously long ages of the 
Patriarchs. Some fact — not merely a moral or philo- 
sophical idea — underlies them. Above all they are not 
merely childish folklore to fill up gaps of unknown 
history. But what that fact is the Church has never 
authoritatively settled. At present we seem to have 
lost the key to those enormous numbers, perhaps we 
are on the eve of rediscovering their meaning through 
the finding of the hsts of the Babylonian or Sumerian 
antediluvian Patriarchs corresponding not in sound, but 
in meaning apparently to the biblical names. If once 
we could ascertain what they conveyed to Abraham and 
his tribe, who came from Ur in the Chaldees, we would 
have solved the riddle. 



INSPIRATION 17 

Thus Catholic scholarship will go on with utmost 
freedom, yet in utmost security, ever venturing farther 
out into the ocean because never severed from the Rock 
on which Christ built His Church, ever forward, yet in 
utmost safety, for the Infallible Interpreter of the Bible 
is always on the alert and living and teaching in the 
bark of Peter. 



II. 

THE MOSAIC LAW 
By the Rev. T. E. Bird, D.D. 

A SURE landmark in the history of Israel is the erection 
and dedication of Solomon's Temple. A sure landmark, 
for whereas the historical existence of things — such as 
the Ark of the Berith and the Tabernacle in the wilder- 
ness — and of personages — such as the Patriarchs and 
Aaron (in the so-called J. document) — has been ques- 
tioned or denied by some modern writers, no one, as 
far as I am aware, has as yet disputed the historical fact 
that towards the close of the eleventh or the opening 
of the tenth century B.C. a Temple was built at Jerusalem. 
This event, therefore, serves as a landmark recognised 
by aU. 

Now the construction of this national Temple — for 
such it was, and not merely a local place of worship — 
was not an undertaking that aroused little attention. 
On the contrary, the whole nation was astir. The 
manhood of Israel was conscribed and sent in drafts of 
thousands — some to fell and prepare timber, others 
to hew out stone from the quarries, others to effect the 
transport. The expenses were enormous. There was a 
determination that this Temple of Yahwe should "show 
greatness exceedingly of fame and glory throughout all 
lands" (i Par. xxii. 5).^ If the figures in our present 

* I. and II. Paralipomenon of the Vulgate and Douay Versions 
are named I. and II. Chronicles in the Anghcan Versions. So 
our I. and II. Kings are I. and II. Samuel in the Authorized and 
Revised Versions. 



THE MOSAIC LAW 19 

text are original, a sum exceeding £1,000,000,000 was 
devoted to the enterprise. Seven and a half years of 
activity were spent before the day of Dedication came 
and presented a magnificent spectacle before the eyes 
of the worshippers. 

But the Temple was not built simply for display. Its 
main purpose was otherwise. It was the House of God, 
the Sanctuary where worship, liturgy, and sacrifice were 
to be performed to the honour of the one God of Israel. 
Incidentally, it was not a Pantheon. 

Now the features of the Temple reveal that its project 
was not an altogether new venture or creation, but that 
it was the result of a development. Within the limits 
of this paper we can but touch a few of these features. 
We will notice, however, that the Temple was the 
Beth Yahwe — the House of the God of Israel ; that it 
contained certain furniture ; that it was served by an 
organised priesthood ; that sacrifices were offered there. 

All this indicates development. Thus Solomon's 
Temple was not the first Beth Yahwe. It took the 
place of the humbler Beth Yahwe on Sion where David 
worshipped (2 Kings xii. 20), which, in its turn, had 
superseded the Beth Yahwe at Shilo (i Kings iii. 15, i. 7 ; 
Judges xviii. 31). Thus we are taken back to the time 
of the Conquest ; and so are not surprised to find 
regulations concerning the Beth Yahwe in the earliest 
and latest parts of the Pentateuchal legislation (Exod. 
xxiii. 19, xxxiv. 26 ; Deut. xxiii. 18). The conclusion 
seems to be that the founder of the Beth Yahwe was 
Moses, who, by tradition, was the Father of Israel's 
nationality, its Apostle, and its Lawgiver. And this 
conclusion is confirmed by the fact that in plan the 
Beth Yahwe built by Solomon was a rephca of the 



20 THE MOSAIC LAW 

Tabernacle, which, even before it was set up at Shilo (Jos. 
xviii. I ; i Kings ii. 22 ; the "mishkam" in 2 Kings 
vii. 6 ; Ps. Ixxvii. 60), had served as the place for public 
worship in the centre of the camp when Israel was an 
army in the peninsula of Sinai.^ (Exod. xxvi., 
xxvii., XXX., xxxi., xxxv.-xl.). 

Among the furniture in Solomon's Temple were the ark 
of the Covenant, the "loaves of proposition," and the 
Altar of burnt-offering. None of these were really new. 
To discover their origins we have to examine the earlier 
history of Israel. The Ark has a prominent place in that 
history until we get back to the directions for its con- 
struction in the Mosaic Law. The "loaves of proposi- 
tion" were in the Tabernacle during the reign of Saul. 
David came to Nob where there was a whole com- 
munity of priests and a chief-priest serving the Taber- 
nacle and observing liturgical regulations, and there he 
received the " loaves of proposition " as Our Lord recalled 
(i Kings xxi., xxii ; Matt. xii. 3, 4). If we look for the 
origin of these loaves and the Table on which they were 
kept we find it in the Mosaic Law (Exod. xxv. 23-30, 
XXXV. 13, xxxix. 35, etc.). The Altar of burnt-offering 
in Solomon's Temple was of brass (3 Kings viii. 64 ; 
2 Par. vii. 7). It was not the first of its kind. It took 
the place of the horned altar at which both Adonias 
and Joab sought asylum (3 Kings i. 50, ii. 28). Again 
we are taken back to the Law of Moses ; for there is the 
first appearance of an altar of burnt-offering — made 
from the acacia wood so common in the Sinai peninsula, 

* This Tabernacle or sacred Tent is not to be confused with 
the Tent which Moses " used to take and pitch for himself out- 
side the camp," and which had Josue for its attendant (Exod. 
xxxiii. 7-1 1). This latter tent was Moses' own private oratory, 
where also he heard cases of dispute. 



THE MOSAIC LAW 21 

and overlaid with brass, and with horns at its corners 
(Exod. xxvii., xxxviii.). 

An organised priesthood served the Temple of 
Solomon. If the Hebrew text is reliable in 3 Kings 
viii. 4, both priests and Levites took part in the Dedica- 
tion ceremony, as is stated also in 2 Par. v. Now no one 
supposes that Solomon founded the Hebrew priesthood. 
During his father David's reign Sadoc and Abiathar are 
priests; and "all the Levites" are mentioned in 2 Kings 
XV. 24. Above we referred to the community of priests 
at Nob during the days of Saul. Earlier still the 
Levites are seen attending the Ark (i Kings vi. 15) ; 
and a priesthood was ofhciating at Shilo before the birth 
of Samuel (i Kings i.). At that time the priesthood was 
corrupt. Now a priesthood is not corrupted in its 
infancy. When, then, was the Hebrew priesthood 
instituted ? In Patriarchal times it did not exist ; at 
the time of the Judges it had lost its sense of responsi- 
bility. There seems but one solution — the Hebrew 
priesthood was established by Moses. That is also the 
answer from the records and tradition. Those that 
reject it naturally find, with M. Loisy, that " the origins 
of the Levitical priesthood are not wanting in obscur- 
ity."i 

Finally, what were the sacrifices offered in Solomon's 
Temple ? Now instead of answering this question from 
the sacred records — for the critical school labels " Inter- 
polation," "addition," "redaction," "gloss," passages 
therein that do not fit hypotheses — we will answer it 
from an extraneous source. The Elephantine Papyri, 
brought to light 1898-1908, have shown that a Jewish 
colony in Egypt had built there before 525 B.C. a Temple 

^ Religion 0/ Israel, Eng. trans., p. 124. 



22 THE MOSAIC LAW 

for the worship of Yah we (Yaho). This Temple was 
evidently built in order that the cult practised at the 
Temple of Solomon might be reproduced in the Jewish 
colony. How long these Jews had settled in Egj^t 
before they began to build their Temple cannot be 
determined exactly ; but we are safe in saying that the 
colony already existed in 586 B.C. The sacrificial 
worship, then, established at Elephantine would be 
modelled on that which the first colonists had witnessed 
at the Temple of Solomon before their emigration. 
What, then, was the sacrificial worship at Elephantine ? 
It was that of the Mosaic Law — and that part of the Law 
to which criticism has given the name of "Priests' 
Code." There is not space here to illustrate this point, 
but neither is there need to do so, since the fact has been 
demonstrated sufficiently by Canon A. van Hoonacker, 
of the University of Louvain.^ 

Just, then, as all roads lead to Rome, so all things 
connected with Solomon's Temple point back to the 
Mosaic Law. Take away the Law, and the raison d'etre 
of these institutions is lost. 

But this is where the difficulty arises, for modern 
criticism does take away the Law. It teaches that when 
the great Temple was dedicated with glory and solemnity, 
what certainly did not then exist, what those priests did 
not yet possess, were the sacred rolls of the Mosaic Law. 
Briefly, the Pentateuch was not yet written. The 
portion of the Law that treats of what we have con- 
sidered above — Tabernacle, Ark, Loaves of Proposition, 
Altar of burnt-offering, priesthood, sacrificial worship 
such as at Elephantine — and much more besides, was 
not composed until some four or five centuries after the 

^ UneCommunaute Judeo-Arameene. Schweich Lectures, 1914. 



THE MOSAIC LAW 23 

Dedication of Solomon's Temple. Its author was a 
priest (or priests), who wrote at the close of or after the 
Babylonian Exile. Much that he describes is the 
product of religious idealism that developed during that 
Exile, and never had real existence. Thus the elaborate 
Tabernacle in the midst of the camp is the creation of 
imagination : the description of the making of the Ark 
at least is invention : the x\aronic hierachy was first 
conceived at Babylon — before the Exile it never existed : 
the liturgy attributed to Moses was really composed for 
the Second Temple — and so on. 

Now the fundamental difference between the critical 
and traditional schools seems to be on the question of 
development. If with the critics one supposes that 
Israel coming out of Egypt was an ilhterate horde with 
primitive and savage ideas, it will follow that the 
Mosaic Law must have been written centuries after the 
Exodus. But all turns on whether this supposition is 
correct. It seems to be far from the truth. The facts 
are as follows : — The rock out of which Israel was hewn 
was Babylon. From there came Abram, the ancestor 
of the Tribes. At that time the Babylonians were far 
from being a primitive people ; on the contrary, their 
civilisation was much developed. It was the age when 
the Code of Hammurabi (to which the earlier part of the 
Mosaic legislation bears striking resemblance) was 
promulgated. Now the grandson of Abram and his sons 
eventually settled in Egypt. There they mixed, not 
with a primitive tribe, but with a people highly educated. 
For some years the Hebrews were a privileged class in 
this civilisation. True it is that, later, fortune turned 
against them and they were employed as slaves ; but 
this could not reduce them to primitive status. Round 



24 THE MOSAIC LAW 

them in Egypt they saw an elaborate rehgion with an 
organised and hereditary priesthood and sacred books ; 
they would notice the regulations connected with this 
priesthood — linen garments, abstinence from wine, 
shaving of the hair (cp. Exod. xxviii. 39-42 ; Lev. x. 9 ; 
Num. viii. 7, etc.), etc. ; they could learn the weaving 
of fine cloths and the making of dyes ; on every side 
they saw the lavish use of gold.^ The ritual could not 
fail to strike them because of its prominence. No 
wonder that " the method of killing and offering animals, 
the burning of incense (upon bronze censers of ladle 
form), the ablutions, and many other ritualistic details 
(among the Egyptians) were similar to those practised 
among the Israelites" (W. Max Miiller in Encycl. 
Biblica, col. 1219. Italics mine). Now to all this 
must be added the education of Moses in all the wisdom 
of the Egjrptians. This would include a knowledge of 
Babylonian. The Tel-el- Amama tablets show that 
cuneiform was learnt by Egyptian scribes before the 
Exodus. Philo tells us that Moses studied the learning 
of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Nothing is 
more likely than that a man of Babylonian stock should 
study the culture of his race when opportunit}^ was given. 
We may include in Moses' education a knowledge of the 
legal systems of Babylonia and Egypt. In the latter 
country even from 2000 B.C. there existed the institution 
of a jury appointed from among the priests and officers to 
sit in judgment daily. 

All this goes to prove that at the time of the Exodus 
the Israelites were not barbarians, but had reached a 

^ Rameses II. received from his mines gold and silver annually 
to the value of ;^8o,ooo,ooo. One of the Tel-el-Amarna tablets 
(No. 8) gives a letter wherein it is said that in Egypt (circa. 1500 
B.C.) " gold is as common as dust." 



THE MOSAIC LAW 25 

high stage of development. It also becomes a fyriori 
highly improbable that when he became leader of his 
nation, Moses did not draw up laws founded on Baby- 
lonian and Egyptian models. 

There is something more. The legal portions of the 
Pentateuch are — as we should expect — stamped in- 
delibly with the impression of the desert. Often they 
treat of the "camp" or "tents." The Ark and Taber- 
nacle form a portable, not a fixed sanctuary. The 
office of Levite is especially with regard to the transport 
of the sacred furniture. Further, it is this "Priests' 
Code" that promulgates regulations for the sanitation 
of the army on the march (Lev. i. 16, iv. 12, xi. 32, 33, 39, 
xiii. 46 ; Num. xix. 14, 15, xxxi. 19, etc.). It becomes 
almost impossible even to imagine that a priest in the 
seclusion of exile should have made these enactments. 
It is almost as difficult to suppose that the leader of the 
army in the peninsula of Sinai did not make so necessary 
regulations. I know that, especially since the discovery 
of the Elephantine Papyri, it is becoming the fashion to 
say that the Priests' Code may contain some traditional 
matter. But if concession along this line is to continue, 
the Development or Evolutionary Hypothesis will soon 
lose its meaning. 

There are other parts of the Priests' Code which seem 
to defy an Exilic or post-Exilic date, e.g. the catalogues 
of names (Gen. xlvi., Exod. vi.. Num. ii.), the details 
connected with the Manna (Exod. xvi. 14), or the second 
pasch (Num. ix. 6), or the case of the daughters of Sal- 
phaad (Num. xxvii., xxxvi.). This last supposes a 
differentiation of the twelve tribes. Where was this 
after the Exile ? 

Space forbids us further consideration of the "Priests' 



26 THE MOSAIC LAW 

Code." Grant its critical date, and besides other 
inconveniences, the institutional religion of Israel seems 
to be without basis and inexplicable. Its traditional 
date explains these institutions, explains Solomon's 
Temple and the cult at Elephantine, explains its Baby- 
lonian-Egyptian elements. Further, this traditional 
date sweeps away a whole army of redactors who other- 
wise invade the Old Testament, heals numerous passages 
mutilated by criticism, restores some of the Psalms to 
their normal pre-exilic position, makes no demand for 
mental strain in the interpretation of such passages as, 
for example, Amos iv. 4, 5 ; v. 21-23, and finally places 
Deuteronomy — which in parts supposes the so-called P 
— in its natural position. 

Concerning the date of Deuteronomy, or the so-called 
D, we will say a word later. Here a passing reference 
may be made to two other documents demanded by 
modern criticism — the so-called J and E. Which of 
these has priority, and when exactly they were written, 
are questions which are not answered with unanimity. 
The terminus ad quern is generally c. 750 B.C., and the 
terminus a quo is later than the building of Solomon's 
Temple.^ The chief criterium for distinguishing between 
the two documents is the use of the divine Names. 
J employs the Name Yahwe (or Jahwe) — hence he is the 
Jehovist writer ; E uses 'Elohim — hence he is the Elohist. 
Now take away this criterium and I venture to say that 
scholars, as e.g. the late Professor Driver, would not 
cling with any tenacity to the separation of these two 
documents ; for the other criteria are too weak and 
subjective to endure alone. Can, therefore, the criterium 

1 Recently, however, Konig has brought E into the time of the 
Judges. 



THE MOSAIC ^LAW 27 

of divine Names be allowed to stand ? It cannot. An 
examination of other parts of the Old Testament, 
especially the Psalter, shows that the distribution of 
these Names is editorial — not original. This is very 
clear in the case of the duplicate psalms. Thus 
Pss. xiii. (14), lii. (53) had one author, but two editors ; 
and the second editor changed the divine Name through- 
out the Psalm. Professor Driver states: "For such a 
variation (of divine Name in Genesis) no plausible 
explanation can be assigned except diversity of author- 
ship."^ But if this reasoning was correct it would 
follow a pari that Pss. xiii., lii. had two authors — which 
no one can admit. Notice, also, how the Name Yahwe 
is excluded from the speech of the unworthy. Thus 
in Ps. iii. Yahwe occurs throughout, ^ except on the lips 
of the Psalmist's wicked enemies (v. 2). We see the 
same exclusion in the conversation between Joseph 
while in disguise and his brethren, and in the speech of 
the Egyptians (Gen. xl.-xliv.). But the most interesting 
example is in Gen. iii. In the conversation between 
Eve and the Serpent only the one Name 'Elohim is 
used ; yet in the whole context we have a combination, 
Yahwe- 'Elohim. Now one of the Names in this combi- 
nation is an addition of an editor, as critics rightly 
declare. Which is the addition ? Evidently "Yahwe" 
— which the editor refrained from putting in the conver- 
sation (Gen. iii. 2-7). Indeed, it would seem that this 
editorial manipulation of the Names was not completed 
before the Septuagint was written. At any rate the 
Septuagintal text has often the one Name 'Elohim, 

* Intro, to Literature cf Old Testament, edit. 9, p. 13. 

* In V. 7 Elohim is employed to make parallelism, and it is with 
a suffix. 



28 THE MOSAIC LAW 

where the Massoretic text has the combination. Thus 
internal and external evidence points to " Yahwe" as an 
addition in the early chapters of Genesis. Yet the 
critics insist on retaining this Name as original, and 
rejecting 'Elohim. The only possible explanation for 
their obstinacy on this point would seem to be prejudice 
in favour of Astruc's "clue," which wa^ adopted by the 
"pioneers of criticism." In brief, however, the distri- 
bution of the Names is editorial — Rabbinical, if you 
wish — but not original. It is time we heard no more of 
"Jeho\dst" and "Elohist." 

From all this it does not follow that the Pentateuch 
is altogether the work of Moses, much less that the whole 
Law was published on one day. On the contrary, at 
least six sets of laws can be found in the legislation which 
extended through the Ufe-time of Moses. Outside the 
legal sections other documents can be recognised. Thus 
not much scholarship is required to detect that the hand 
that wrote the Prologue to Genesis (i.-ii. 3) is the hand 
of the jurist who wrote the Pentateuchal law. After 
the Prologue the author begins his chapter i. with a 
document distinctly Babylonian, and not in his style. 
Who \\Tote this Babylonian document (Gen. ii. 4-iii.) ? 
In Gen. xiii. 10 some one describes the Jordan basin 
known as the Kikkar before the destruction of Sodom 
and Gomorrha ; it was "watered throughout like the 
garden of the Lord, Hke the land of Egypt as one comes 
to Soar." This writer knew the description of the 
Garden of Eden (Gen. ii. 10-14) ; he knew also the 
Kikkar before the catastrophe there ; and he had been 
down to Egypt. It would seem that this person was no 
other than the Bab^donian Abram. To him we would 
attribute Gen. ii. 4-iii., and much of the matter contained 



THE MOSAIC LAW 29 

in the so-called J and E sections in the first half of 
Genesis. 

Perhaps enough has now been said to show how wisely 
the Church acted, when through the Bibhcal Commission 
(27th June, 1906) she warned her children that the 
critical arguments for a post-Mosaic date of the Penta- 
teuch did not outweigh the traditional teaching. ^ 

Before we consider the teaching of the Law, a word 
may be said concerning its operation after the Conquest. 
Students sometimes feel a difficulty in the fact that the 
histony' of Israel after the settlement in Chanaan is not 
as coloured by the Mosaic Law as one would expect. 
We wiU therefore enumerate some of the circumstances 
that told against the operation of the Law. 

The first blow was the collapse of the central authority. 
Even when Israel was a unit in the peninsula of Sinai, 
and under the control of an efficient leader, there were 
repeated relapses from the standard of the Law ; but 
when that leader was dead and the unit split up — each 
tribe fighting for its separate settlement — then that 
happened which has so often happened in histor\^ when 
there has been a break from central authority — the 
operation of the law weakened. So the period of the 
"Judges" is well summed up by the remark of its 

^ The replies of the Bibhcal Commission are not acts of the 
Sovereign Pontiff, it is true. They are approved not " in forma 
specifica " but " in forma communi." They remain, therefore, 
acts of the Commission. Nevertheless, they call for loyal recep- 
tion under penalty of disobedience and the note of^ temerity 
(" Praestantia Scripturae," i8th Nov., 1907). The history of 
the Bibhcal criticism of the last thirty years now shows that 
much of the " progress of modem thought " ended in blind alleys. 
Unfortunately, often before the cul-de-sac has come in sight, 
cast-off remnants of behef have been strewn on the road. The 
lessons from the past call for a disposition in Bibhcal study 
" sentiendi cum Ecclesia." 



30 THE MOSAIC LAW 

historian : " In those days there was not a king in Israel : 
each man did what was right in his own eyes" 
(xvii. 6, cp. xviii. 31). When at last some authority 
was re-established we find a return to order and the 
project of the Temple. Unfortunately, however, it was 
not long before the question of Church and State arose. 
Solomon began his reign with an attack on the priesthood 
(3 Kings ii. 26, seq.), and he closed it as supreme head 
on earth of the religion of Israel. For the future in Juda 
up to the time of the Exile, the execution of the Law was 
at the whim of the reigning monarch. And, unfortu- 
nately, most of the kings preferred pagan licentiousness 
to Mosaic severity. In Israel, after the schism, solely 
for a political reason, viz., to prevent reunion of north 
and south, Jeroboam forbad his subjects to go to the 
central sanctuary ; set up golden calves for adoration 
and sacrifice ; instituted a priesthood unconnected with 
the sons of Levi ; estabhshed festivals distinct from 
those in Juda, and had his own altar of incense (3 Kings 
xii. 25-33). On the other hand virtuous kings like 
Josaphat, Ezechias, and Josias made attempts to restore 
the Law of Moses. And here we may say our promised 
word on the so-called D document. The first draft, or 
kernel of the book of Deuteronomy was, say the critics, 
the book of the Law discovered during the repairs of the 
Temple in 621 B.C. (4 Kings xxii ; 2 Par. xxxiv.). But 
this book had no connection with Moses ; in fact it was 
written shortly before its "discovery." Why this? 
Briefly, because the regulations of D were unknown 
before the time of Josias, and his reformation first 
introduced them. Now is this true ? Josias himself 
says that the regulations were known to "our fathers," 
but were not enforced. Now leaving aside the much 



THE MOSAIC LAW 31 

abused Chronicler, let us look at the reformation in 
4 Kings xxiii. We read that Josias destroyed the 
vessels used in idolatrous worship, abolished the high- 
places and the burning of incense there, ground to 
powder the Ashera, broke down the obelisks, etc. Now 
if we go back a hundred years we find that Ezechias also 
reformed religion. He abolished the high-places, broke 
down the obeHsks, cut down the Ashera, and stopped the 
idolatrous burning of incense. In other words, "he 
kept the commandments which Yahwe had com- 
manded Moses" (4 Kings xviii. 4, 7). Surely if Josias' 
reformation was based on Deuteronomy, so was that of 
Ezechias.^ 

To return. The chief obstacle against the operation 
of the Mosaic Law was the disappearance, for some two 
centuries, of central authority ; which, when restored, 
was religious or irreligious according to the personal 
character of the ruler of the State. 

The second adverse circumstance was the milieu in 
which the separated tribes found themselves after the 
Conquest. No longer were they nomads, but dwellers 
in walled cities. About them stood pagan altars associ- 

^ Hence this reformation under Ezechias is a sore point with 
the supporters of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis, and leads 
them into statements that make bad criticism. Thus the Rev. 
F. H. Woods in his article on " Hexateuch " in Hastings' Diction- 
ary of the Bible (II. 368), tries to evade the difficulty by the 
remark : " It is clear that the attempt of Hezekiah, 2 Kings xviii. 4, 
to put down high-places was only partial or tentative." But this 
is by no means clear, in fact the text, read with the address of 
Rabsaces, 4 Kings xviii. 22, and the statement that Manasses 
" built again the high-places which Ezechias his father had 
destroyed," 4 Kings xxi. 3, rather indicates that the reverse is 
" clear." To an evasion of this kind we prefer the bold declara- 
tion of critics Uke Cheyne and Moore, who " cannot venture 
to take 4 Kings xviii. 4 as strictly historical." (See e.g. Enc. Biblica, 
col. 2058, 2068.) But of course, this is not the genuine historical 
method. 



32 THE MOSAIC LAW 

ated with attractive immorality. Moses had foreseen 
this, and, that monotheism might be preserved, had 
commanded the extermination of the Chanaanite tribes : 
"lest they teach you to do all the abominations which 
they have done to their gods, and you should sin against 
Yahwe your God" (Deut. xx. i8). But this extermi- 
nation was not so easy as might have been thought, 
and, as the history records, the injunction full often 
became a dead letter (Josue xv. 63, xvi. 10, xvii. 13, 
etc.). It was not long, therefore, before Mosaic ordin- 
ances were unpopular, and idolatrous cult in vogue. ^ 
A third extrinsic cause that told against the operation 
of the Law was human nature. It is hard enough for 
many persons nowadays to keep the ten commandments ; 
It was harder for Israel to observe not only the Decalogue 
but much more besides in the polytheistic world of that 
time. Critical arguments are often made from the non- 
observance of the Law in the post-Conquest history to 
its non-existence at the time of Moses. This is as 
precarious as the argumentum e silentio. A study of 
Canon Law makes one cautious on this line of argument. ^ 

* So the Psalmist sings sorrowfully : — 

" And He brought them to His holy border ; 

A mountain-land, that His right hand had acquired, 

And he drove out nations before them. 

But they tempted, yea, they provoked God Most High ; 

And kept not His testimonies ; 

But turned back, and were faithless like their fathers : 

They recoiled like a treacherous bow. 

And they roused Him to anger by their high-places 

And provoked His jealousy by their images." 

Ps. Ixxvii. 54-58. 

2 One quarter of the Codex Juris Canonici is concerned • — " De 
Processibus," a branch of Canon Law up to the present almost 
unknown among CathoUcs in some English-speaking countries. 



THE MOSAIC LAW 33 

Finally, there were intrinsic difficulties. Many of 
the statutes dealt with camp or nomadic Ufe, and became 
unreal once the wanderings came to an end. Some of 
the enactments had been revised or modified, and 
existed in more than one form in the Tora. The slave- 
laws in part had regarded Hebrews serving for debt ; 
after the Conquest Chanaanite slaves took their place. 
The porterage of the sacred furniture was no longer 
required ; and the Levites found themselves without a 
well-defined status. These were only some of the 
intrinsic difficulties. 

Yet in spite of all obstacles the Law was not altogether 
forgotten. Apart from relapses, the religion of the 
Hebrews between the Conquest and the Exile was not 
the rehgion of the Patriarchs (cp. Deut. v. 3) ; it was 
not the religion of Egypt ; it was not the religion of the 
Chanaanites ; it was the religion of the Mosaic Law — 
especially that of the so-called "Priests' Code." If 
the operation was weak, there were exceptional circum- 
stances to make it so ; and its subjects were those to 
whom Our Lord had to say : "Did not Moses give you 
the Law ? And yet none of you keep the Law " (John 
vii. 19). 

We come now to the last part of this paper — the 
Religion of the Law. Space allows a consideration only 
of its salient features ; the most outstanding of which 
was sublime monotheism. 

Above all the corruption of a world sunk into idolatry, 
there sounded forth from Israel : Credo in unum Deum. 
"Hear, O Israel : the Lord our God is One God" (Deut. 
vi. 4). And this creed was from the first guarded by 
the death penalty : "He that sacrificeth to any god, save 
the Lord only, shall be 'devoted'" (Exod. xxii. 20). 



34 THE^ MOSAIC LAW 

It was this belief that again and again saved Israel 
during the course of her backshding progress, which is 
spoken of as "evolution." 

And the Credo continued : Patrem Omnipotentum, 
factor em coeli et terrae, visibilium et invisibilium. Because 
He was the Creator of everything, everything belonged 
to Him — the fruits of the earth, of the flocks and herds 
nay, even man. "They are all Mine" summed it up 
(Exod. xiii. 2). And man should recognise that they 
all were His. How could this be shown ? By offering 
to Him the first-fruits of the ground, the first-born of 
beasts and of men. But the first male could be bought 
back or redeemed. How ? By the offering of a substi- 
tute or victim. Offerings to God were "sacrifices," 
which, when performed as public acts, demanded ritual, 
liturgy, and a priesthood. Even one day of the week 
belonged especially, and was consecrated to Him.^ One 
day in the year was to be a Fast-day that the soul that 
had sinned against Him might be "afflicted" and 
"cleansed from sins" (Lev. xvi. 29-31, xxiii. 27-32 ; 
Num. xxix. 7). What we should call "Holidays of 
Obhgation" were also commanded. These were especi- 
ally in connection with the three great annual Festivals, 
to which all male IsraeHtes were summoned. First- 
fruits, Tabernacles, and Passover. To the last men- 
tioned was united the observance of Unleavened Bread. ^ 
This Feast was first instituted as a domestic celebration 
(Exod. xii.), but in the legislation that considered the 

^ To impress the Sabbath institution on the minds of the 
Israehtes, the work of Creation was represented in an artificial 
framework of a week — the seventh day of which was sancified 
(Gen. i-ii. 3; Exod. xx. 9-11 ; xxiii. 12; xxxi. 12-17; Deut. 
V. 12-15). 

* Exod. xii; xiii. 3-10; xxiii. 15: xxxiv. 18; Lev. xxiii. 
4-14 ; Num. ix. 1-14 ; xxviii. 16-25. 



THE MOSAIC LAW 35 

settlement in Chanaan it was forbidden to be celebrated 
except "at the place which Yahw^ shall choose" (Deut. 
xvi. 1-8). Hence the abuse prevalent among the 
priests of the high-places, and the reform by Josias 
(4 Kings xxiii. 9, 21-23). Hence also the disfavour of 
Jerusalem towards Elephantine — for there, on pagan 
soil, was celebrated the Passover (Sachau, p. 36). 

But besides its Dogma and Liturgy, the Law had its 
moral theology. God was to be served and feared — 
not with dread, but with reverence and love. In the 
earliest teaching (Exod. xx. 6) He is represented as 
"showing mercy ... to them that love Me and keep 
My commandments " ; and in the final legislation is the 
precept : "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy 
whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy 
whole strength." 1 After this follows the command in 
Lev. xix. 18 : "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy- 
self." Thus the two greatest precepts of both Old and 
New Testament are written in the Law. There we 
first find the vinculum perfectionis. Nay, there was the 
further command that one must do good to one's private 
enemies, and seek no revenge (Exod. xxiii. 4, 5 ; Lev. 
xix. 17, 18). Finally there was the Decalogue, which, 
in spite of all the supposed evolution of the human mind, 
remains even to this day the basis of morality, and 
challenges any substitute. 

But Israel was not solely a religious community ; it 
was also a civil society. Its political nature, however, 
was peculiar, for it was a Theocracy. Hence not only its 
religious, but also its civil enactments were referred to 
God. Distinct therefore from its religious teaching was 
its penal legislation dealing with human nature offending 
1 See also Deut. xi. 13 ; x. 12, etc. 



36 THE MOSAIC LAW 

against civil law and order. Hence the so-called lex 
talionis (Exod. xxi. 24 ; Lev. xxiv. 20 ; Deut. xix. 21) 
which remained a theocratic law, until Christ said : 
"My kingdom is not of this world." This civil law also 
protected the rights of private ownership ; but not in 
the sense that some modern economists understand 
proprietorship (Deut. xxiii. 24, 25). Unlike the Baby- 
lonian criminal code, there was in the Mosaic legislation 
but one law for both rich and poor alike. 

So much by way of summary. There is, however, one 
other enactment in Hebrew Law which does not seem 
to have been given the attention it deserves. We refer 
to the Blood Prohibition. A short consideration of it 
will close our paper. We all know that the pious Jew 
to-day will eat only kosher meat — meat from which the 
blood has been completely drained. In other words it is 
forbidden to "eat blood." There was trouble in the 
early Church with the Jewish converts over this matter 
(cp. Acts XV. 20). Back in the time of Saul, the people 
"sinned against the Lord" in that they ate the blood 
of beasts after the defeat of the PhiUstines (i Kings 
xiv. 32-34). 

We cannot here inquire into the full reason of this 
prohibition. Originally it seems to have been directed 
against manslaughter. Adam's first-born was a murderer, 
and he was cursed. The few survivors from the Flood, 
who were to re-people the earth, were blessed ; but at 
the same time the prohibition was formulated : — 

"Flesh with (its soul — ) its blood, you shall not eat,^ 
And indeed, I will require your blood of your souls : 

1 The words in brackets are not in the Vulgate, and the text 
makes simpler reading without them. The Hebrew word may 
be an explanatory gloss. However, the Vulgate alone omits. 



THE MOSAIC LAW 37 

From the hand of every beast will I require it,^ 

And from the hand of man. 

From the hand of each man's brother 

I will require the soul of man. 

Whosoever shall shed man's blood, 

By man his blood shall be shed : 

For in the image of God, I made (LXX) man." 

Gen. ix. 4-6. 

With the blood was associated the life (or soul). As 
a man lost blood, so his life oozed out. But as the life — 
even of a beast — belonged to God, so the blood of every 
animal slaughtered whether in sacrifice or not, was to 
be poured out. Hence the law (Lev. vii. 26, 27) : — 
" You shall eat no blood whatsoever — 
Any soul that eateth any blood, that soul shall be 
cut off from the people." 

But later the people offered idolatrous sacrifices and 
disregarded the blood prohibition. This led to the 
stringent law (Lev. xvii. 3 sqq.) : — 

"Any man whosoever of the house of Israel that 
killeth an ox, or a lamb, or a goat, in the camp, or 
without the camp, and bringeth it not unto the door 
of the Tent — shall be guilty of blood. He hath shed 
blood : and that man shall be cut off from the midst 
of the people — And the priest shall sprinkle the blood 
upon the altar — And they shall no more sacrifice their 
victims to demons, with whom they have committed 
fornication — If any man whosoever of the house of 
Israel or of the strangers that sojourn among them eat 
any blood, / will set my face against that soul that 
eateth blood, and will cut him off from the midst of the 
Cp. Exodus xxi 28. 



38 THE MOSAIC LAW 

people. For the soul of the flesh is in the blood ; and 
I have given it to you upon the altar to make atone- 
ment for your souls : for it is the blood that maketh 
atonement by reason of the soul. Therefore — no soul 
of you shall eat blood ; and the stranger that sojourneth 
among you shall not eat blood. If any man whosoever 
— hunting or fowling — let him pour out its blood, and 
cover it with dust," etc.^ 

The law, therefore, enacted that all slaughter — except 
that occasioned by hunting or fowling — should be done 
at the central sanctuary. But this would be impossible 
when the tribes were settled in Chanaan. Foreseeing 
the difficulty Moses allows the slaughter of animals in 
any town ; but the blood prohibition is again insisted 
upon. Deut. xii. gives this final legislation : — 

''These are the statutes and the judgments which 
you shall observe to do in the land. — Unto the place 
which Yahwe your God shall choose — thou shalt 
come ; and thither shall you bring your burnt- 
offerings and your sacrifices — Beware lest thou offer 
thy burnt- offerings in every place that thou seest — 
Nevertheless at any inclination of thine appetite thou 
mayest kill, and eat flesh (according to the blessing 
of Yahwe thy God which he hath given thee) within 
all thy gates. — Only you shall not eat the blood : thou 
shalt pour it out upon the earth as water — Only be 
firm not to eat the blood : for the blood is the soul ; and 
thou mayest not eat the soul with the flesh. Thou 
shalt not eat it : thou shalt pour it out upon the earth 
as water. Thou shalt not eat it, that it may be well 
with thee — The blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured 

^ See also Lev. xix. 26 



THE MOSAIC LAW 39 

out upon the altar of Yahwe thy God ; and the flesh 

thou shalt eat."^ 

Again the law is insisted upon (Deut. xv. 23) : — 
"Only thou shalt not eat its blood : thou shalt pour 

it out upon the earth as water." 

Because the soul was connected with the blood, the 
blood was not to be eaten. But for the same reason 
blood could expiate from sin.^ For sin a man deserved 
death. To atone he ought to give his life. But as this 
was not allowed, he gave instead a "victim" — a substi- 
tute for his life, viz., the life, i.e. the blood of an animal. 

The importance of the teaching of the Law on Blood 
can hardly be exaggerated ; for it is here precisely where 
the New Law brought the Old to fulfilment. Christ 
becoming "sin for us" made atonement by giving His 
life in bloody sacrifice on the Cross. Indeed, without 
this shedding of blood the expiation would not have been 
obtained (2 Cor. v. 15-21 ; Heb. ix. 22). But once this 
Sacrifice was made on Calvary, the sacrifices of the Old 
Law — "Shadows of the good things to come" — ceased 
to have effect (Heb. x. 1-20). 

There was another change — the Blood Prohibition 

1 The critics, of course, date Deut. xii. before Lev. xvii. (mainly 
H), and in both chapters they see propaganda for the central- 
ization of the place of sacrifice, i.e. the abohtion of " high- 
places " and the recognition of the Temple at Jerusalem as the 
one Sanctuar>'. But— especially in the case of Lev. xvii.-- 
Jewish propaganda was not presented under so thick a veil. 
Witness e.g. the Book of Jubilees. Surely, at least in Lev. xvii. 
the place of slaughter is secondary to the prime object of the 
legislation, viz., the Blood Prohibition. 

2 Lev. xvi 15, 16, 19 ; xvii. 11 : Heb. ix., x. Since the above, 
was -v^Titten there has appeared in the current number of 
Biblica (Vol. II., pp. 141-169) a valuable article • " Le Symbol- 
isme du Sacrifice Expiatoire en Israel," by Dr. Mederbielle. 
It is to be concluded in the next number (July, 1921). 



40 THE MOSAIC LAW 

was reversed. The life is in the blood : hence to have 
the life of Christ within us it is necessary to drink His 
sacred Blood : — 

"Amen, amen, I say unto you : Except you eat the 
flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you shall 
not have life in you. He that eateth My flesh and 
drinketh My blood hath everlasting life ; and I will 
raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat 
indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth 
My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in 
him. As the living Father hath sent Me and I live by 
the Father ; so he that eateth Me, the same also shaU 
live by Me" (John vi. 54-58). 

No wonder the Jews with the blood prohibition among 
their deepest convictions "strove one with another, 
saying : 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat ? ' " 
(John vi. 53). No wonder many, even of the disciples, 
said : "This is a hard saying ; and who can hear it" 
(vi. 61). We can even understand how after the further 
explanation that it was not a dead body that they would 
eat, but the living Christ ascended to the Father, still 
"many of His disciples went back and walked no more 
with Him" (vi. 67). But the twelve that remained were 
privileged to witness the abolition of the blood prohibi- 
tion and the institution of the great Sacrament : " Drink 
ye cdl of this : for this is My blood of the (New) Testa- 
ment." 



III. 

THE PROPHETS. 

By the Rev. C. Lattey, S.J., M.A. 

It is of the nature of religion, if I may use a somewhat 
hackneyed distinction, to contain a static and a dynamic 
element, or again, to put it in a more concrete form, an 
institutional and a personal aspect. Religion for the 
most part is intensely conservative, both in what is 
essential and what is not ; it keeps to the old faith and 
the old forms, and is slow to admit even the most legiti- 
mate development. Yet, on the other hand, it must 
make a living appeal or perish ; and it is the very 
stability of faith and form that enables it to do so. "I 
know whom I have beheved " (2 Tim. i. 12) ; that is 
the cry of every great religious leader down the ages, 
of every religion, and modern attempts to modify the 
attitude show little promise of lasting success. 

The Mosaic Law, the system as such. Old Testament 
religion upon its institutional side, has already been 
dealt with by Dr. Bird, and much that he has 
set forth is important for the understanding of the 
present paper, since it supplies the necessary back- 
ground. The personal side of Old Testament religion 
is supplied in the main by the prophets ; through them 
comes the direct appeal from the Divine Person to the 
human, a sublime and spiritual appeal, yet often highly 
anthropomorphic. Almighty God speaks at times in 
the language of an emotion no less vivid and personal 
than that which He seeks to arouse in His people. The 
prophet is the human instrument by which He manifests 
His mind, and makes this personal appeal. The dis- 

41 



42 THE PROPHETS 

tinction between the institutional and the personal side 
of the Old Testament religion, however, must not be 
drawn too sharply. Moses the lawgiver was himself 
a prophet, and the greatest of the prophets up till the 
very times of Christ ; and the later prophets constituted 
a permanent institution, recognised as such by the Law, 
in Deuteronomy xviii. 15-22. With this authentic 
declaration we may commence an examination of the 
nature of Old Testament prophecy, and later pass to 
the consideration of the function it fulfilled. In both 
parts of the paper the indication, rather than the 
substance of argument must sufhce ; the vastness of 
the subject and the limits of time permit no more. 

The prophet is the spokesman of God ; the very word 
" prophet " signifies as much in the Greek whence it is 
derived, and most probably the corresponding Hebrew 
word also. That he may be God's spokesman two 
essential conditions are required, revelation and mission, 
God must speak to the prophet, and also commission 
the prophet to repeat what He has said. That is the 
idea of prophecy that we find in the Old Testament, both 
in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the writings of the 
prophets themselves. Revelation and mission, the 
message and the command to deliver it, alike stand out 
clearly in Deuteronomy xviii. 18-19 ; here and else- 
where, to avoid discussion and delay, I translate direct 
from the Hebrew : — 

" I will raise them up a prophet from among their 
brethren, like to thee, and I will put My words in his 
mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall 
command him. And it shall be, that whoso will not 
hearken to My words, which he shall speak in My 
name, I will require it of him." 



THE PROPHETS 43 

Thus the words are God's, put into the prophet's mouth, 
spoken in His name, and by His command. Revelation 
and mission are reinforced by the threat against any 
that will not hearken. Then comes the command to 
slay impostors ; he is an impostor whose prediction 
does not come true. To this test we shall return. 

Revelation and mission are also clearly indicated, for 
example, in the larger prophetic works that have come 
down to us. Isaiah, after his vision of the Lord in 
glory, receives the divine command, " Go, and tell this 
people " (Isa. vi. 9) ; to Jeremiah also, like unto Moses 
in his diffidence no less than in his meekness, it is said, 
"To whomsoever (or possibly, to whatsoever) I shall 
send thee, thou shalt go, and whatsoever I shall com- 
mand thee thou shalt speak .... I have put My words 
in thy mouth " (Jer. i. 7, 9) ; Ezechiel, like Isaiah, 
beholds the glory of God before receiving his commission : 
the vision occupies the first chapter, and the commission 
the second and third, wherein he is told more than once 
that he is sent of the Lord, and is to speak the words of 
the Lord. Thus in each of these cases we have clearly 
the divine message, and the command to promulgate 
it ; but in reality both are indicated every time that a 
prophet uses the common phrase, " Thus saith the 
Lord." 

In revelation and mission, then, we have the essentials 
of prophecy. It cannot be necessary to insist that it 
was not essential that the prophet should commit his 
prophecy to writing, seeing that we have such striking 
examples in proof as Elias and Eliseus (Elijah and 
Elisha). Such records of the prophets' utterances as 
have come down are guaranteed to us by the fact that 
they are found in inspired books ; this, again, was in no 



44 THE PROPHETS 

way bound to be, though it is all to our advantage. 
The two prophets named worked miracles, by which the 
truth of their mission was attested : such at least is the 
Old Testament version of the matter, and it is the only 
evidence available, distasteful as it may be to some 
modern sceptics ; a striking example is the trial between 
Elias and the false prophets on Carmel (HI. [I.] Kings 
xviii.). But neither can miracles be called essential to 
the prophet, valuable as they may be in confirmation 
of his mission. They are conspicuous by their absence 
in the case of the Baptist ; " John did no sign " (John x. 

41)- 
Even prediction cannot be considered strictly essential 

to the prophet ; but here we have to make a distinction, 
if I may put it this way with all reverence, between 
short-distance and long-distance prophecy. The former, 
to be verified almost at once, may serve as a test of 
revelation and mission, the one test indicated in Deu- 
teronomy ; if what the would-be prophet has sought to 
foretell do not come to pass, the Lord has not spoken 
by him (Deut. xviii. 22). Conversely, we may suppose 
(though it is not said) that the fulfilment of a prediction 
might go a long way to prove revelation and mission. 
We have examples both of the positive and negative 
effect. The false prophets had promised victory to 
Achab and Josaphat ; but Micheas (Micaiah) prophesied 
the defeat that was to come (III. [I.] Kings xxii.). And 
Jeremiah refutes Hananiah's promise of deliverance 
from Babylon by the prediction of Hananiah's own 
death, which is soon fulfilled (Jer. xxviii.). 

A study of the false prophets confirms the conclusion 
drawn from the study of the true ; what is found lacking 
in them is precisely mission and revelation. Of long- 



THE PROPHETS 45 

distance prophecy, chiefly messianic in character, I 
shall speak later ; evidently it could not serve as a test, 
nor can it be said strictly to be of the essence of prophecy. 
Other tests of mission and revelation of course existed 
besides those already touched upon ; the whole life and 
character of the prophet, the comparison of his teaching 
with divine truth already known, and so forth. 

Such is in broad outline the Old Testament conception 
of the nature of prophecy. It is to be found in all the 
relevant evidence on the subject ; it was enforced by the 
prophets themselves, even by the false prophets, and was 
accepted by the people at large. Nevertheless, when 
we come to examine more closely that revelation which 
lies at the root of the whole conception, it is no longer 
possible to proceed in peace and security. While 
CathoHcs and most believing Christians admit readily 
enough that the whole subject of immediate communi- 
cation between God and man is obscure and difficult, 
those who believe less, or who believe little or nothing, 
are apt to treat it as a fundamental axiom, a point 
beyond all dispute, that such immediate communication 
is entirely out of the question. And so, if he looks 
outside of his own communion, the Catholic scholar finds 
whole commentaries absolutely dominated by this 
presupposition, that none the less would usually be called 
moderate and even conservative. The presupposition 
is seldom avowed ; sometimes, indeed, the author or 
editor himself hardly seems to be aware of the extent 
to which it influences his whole exegesis. Nevertheless, 
it is often the fact — more often than not, I should think, 
among serious scholars outside the Catholic Church 
as I understand it — that an explanation involving 
revelation or miracle is looked upon as no explanation 



46 THE PROPHETS 

at all, but merely a problem still unsolved ; and this 
attitude is taken up, consciously or unconsciously, even 
by those who profess to believe in what we may shortly 
describe as a personal God. 

To deal with such presuppositions would evidently 
take us far afield, far away from prophecy as such. It 
must be enough to suggest briefly two causes that may 
help to explain their presence and influence, the neglect 
both of sound philosophy and of sound history. No 
doubt some non-Catholic scholars have come to the 
study of Holy Writ with philosophical opinions already 
formed, as a result of philosophical studies, and these 
opinions have sometimes been of a subversive character. 
But it is my impression that such scholars have often 
lacked a proper grounding in philosophy, and have not 
themselves recognised the necessity of resting their 
exegetical and theological conclusions upon it. Philos- 
ophy cannot supply for religion, but a false philosophy 
can subvert religion. A Christian theory of God, the 
soul and knowledge is a need of human reason if there 
is to be Christian faith. Such a theory will also save 
the scholar from a distortion of historical evidence. 
Modern exegesis is apt to resolve itself into hacking 
one's way through the only available evidence, under the 
hypnotising influence of a theory of natural evolution 
which peremptorily excludes all divine intervention. 
A Catholic, too, comes to the study of Holy Writ with 
some principles already firm in his mind, let us not deny 
it ; but they are principles open and avowed, which he 
is fully prepared to discuss, nor is he afraid to admit 
occasional difficulties in their application, or to define 
their exact force and influence upon him. I am very 
far from wishing to impute bad faith to the typical 



THE PROPHETS 47 

non-Catholic exegete of to-day ; nevertheless, he does 
need to think and to express himself more clearly, more 
adequately and even ruthlessly, more frankly. He 
needs to think out all his own methods and implications, 
to try to get to the bottom of things, to take nothing for 
granted unawares. 

Having dared to say so much, and in a way that I 
hope will give no offence, let me turn to discuss the 
question, so far as it admits of discussion, as to how the 
prophet comes by his revelation. A theory has lately 
been put forward which I may briefly call the medium- 
istic hypothesis, which would explain, and explain 
away, the prophetic revelation by supposing the prophet 
to be endowed with the same kind of properties as a 
medium, without, however, allowing a divine message 
in the true sense. Let it suffice here to say that the 
occupation of a medium does not appear to be profitable 
for mind or body ; the prophets are made of sterner 
stuff. The theory of subliminal consciousness is more 
often put forward without this accretion ; the prophet's 
pent up feelings gather in force till they explode with the 
irresistible conviction of a divine impulse : " Thus 
saith the Lord ! " Here, as elsewhere, my criticism 
must be summary, since it has seemed best to cover a 
great deal of ground. I would remark, then, that the 
prophets themselves, and also those who accepted them 
as such, would certainly have regarded such a view 
with horror, as excluding any divine message in the true 
sense, and putting them on a level with the false prophets, 
and that their illusion must have assumed colossal pro- 
portions, both in the intensity and the duration of their 
conviction. Sometimes, too, the reception and pro- 
mulgation of the divine message does violence to the 



48 THE PROPHETS 

whole bent of the prophet's nature ; Jeremiah, for 
example, seems to be nervous, anxious to escape, 
broken-hearted. " Woe is me, my mother," he cries, 
" Thou hast borne me a man of strife and contention 
to the whole earth " (xv. lo). At other times the period 
of internal incubation appears to be unreasonably 
short : it needs but a night to make Nathan realise that 
David is not to build the Temple after all (II. Kings 
[II. Sam.] vii.), and perhaps not half-an-hour to make 
Isaiah retract his divine message of death to Ezechiah 
(IV.[II.] Kings XX.) 

There is another argument, to which also I must fail 
to do justice. The arm of the Lord is not shortened ; 
the evidence for direct communication between God 
and man, like that for miracle, comes down in con- 
tinuous stream to our own times. For the last instance, 
and that in our own century, I may mention the wonder- 
ful, nay, astounding case of Gemma Galgani, in whom, 
among other things, our Lord renewed the outward 
tokens of His Passion. His Eminence Cardinal Gasquet 
has contributed a preface to the English translation of 
her life. True, the mission of such Catholic mystics 
cannot be put on a level with that of the prophets, nor 
does the Church require our assent to the truth of their 
revelation. Nevertheless, from a purely historical point 
of view the evidence in their favour is often, as in the 
case mentioned, far superior to that in favour of the 
prophets, and has been subjected by competent eye- 
witnesses themselves to searching scrutiny. The ex- 
periences of the later mystics, in fact, throw a valuable 
light upon the phenomena of prophecy, upon the manner 
in which the divine action affects intellect and sense 
and so forth. If there still be those who have nothing 



THE PROPHETS 49 

better than a blank denial for all this mass of evidence 
from Old and New Covenant — well, let us say one last 
word to them, and not a very new one at that : there 
are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of 
either in their philosophy or their history. 

The nature of prophecy is the more important ques- 
tion ; that of the function we may treat briefly under 
three headings, the function of prophecy with reference 
to past, present and future. The modern evolutionary 
hypothesis supposes the prophets to have developed 
themselves almost all that was worth having in the 
religion of Israel, and in order to dispose of any recal- 
citrant evidence passes them through the same mincing 
machine as the Books of Moses and Josue. No doubt 
there is a certain development of doctrine to be observed 
in the prophetic writings, indeed, this very consideration 
of their doctrine is a powerful motive for regarding 
the less developed Pentateuch, or even that part of it 
usually called the Priestly Code, as the starting-point 
rather than the consummation of their labours. Yet 
in the main the prophets enforce acknowledged obliga- 
tions and established beliefs ; most of all they presuppose 
that clear conception of a personal God without which 
there could be no question of revelation or mission. 
With Faith and Law to precede them, the prophets are 
fairly intelligible ; to invert the order is to put the 
cart before the horse. " The Lord shall roar from Sion," 
begins Amos, " and utter His voice from Jerusalem." 
If the critics reject this verse, the main reason is pre- 
cisely because it presupposes the Mosaic Law as we 
know it, with Jerusalem in the privileged position of the 
central sanctuary ; given the Mosaic Law akeady in 



50 THE PROPHETS 

force, nothing could be more natural. And the late 
Prof. Wellhausen, whose Teutonic yoke appears to be 
fastened upon our necks more firmly than ever since the 
War, in order to invest the rival sanctuaries, the high 
places, with a legal and venerable antiquity, such as 
would subvert the unique claim of Jerusalem founded 
upon the Mosaic Law, performs the somewhat starthng 
exploit of entirely overlooking the idolatry which the 
evidence of the historical books shows to have been 
practised there. 1 have touched upon these points 
in an article on " The Ark of the Covenant," in the Irish 
Ecclesiastical Record for February, 1918 — one of a series 
on Pentateuch problems, two or three of which in some 
measure support the contention, which in any case I 
cannot urge any further here, that in the main the 
prophets assume doctrine rather than, as the " critics " 
would say, manufacture it. 

The function of prophecy, then, with regard to the 
past was to keep alive ancient standards of faith and 
religion, and even to infuse into them a life more vigorous 
still. This sufficiently indicates a function in respect 
of the present also, which, however, must be conceived 
on very large lines. The prophets were even more 
responsible for the guidance of Israel in faith and con- 
duct than might at first sight appear. The priesthood 
of the Old Testament was essentially and almost ex- 
clusively a sacrificial and liturgical priesthood ; it is 
astonishing to find how little is said about any teaching 
function. This latter chiefly fell to the prophets, and 
was afterwards taken up by the scribes ; it was not the 
priests that sat in the chair of Moses. We thus appear 
to have a different working system in Old and New 
Covenant ; in the former there does not seem to be an 



THE PROPHETS 51 

absolutely permanent infallible teaching body, but a 
broken series of prophetical teachers, extraordinary rather 
than ordinary messengers of divine truth, which they 
receive by special revelation, and promulgate by word 
of mouth, and sometimes by inspired writing also. 
Under the Old Covenant also, we have a progressive 
revelation, though not to the extent that some would 
suppose ; under the New we have a deposit of faith 
closed once and for all after the death of the Apostles, 
though a certain development is possible in the better 
understanding and explanation of it. 

Further, the prophets were the guides of Israel even 
in matters of state ; it may be enough to cite Isaiah's 
warning not to rely upon Egypt (Isa. xxx. 1-7). The 
Old Covenant is a theocracy wherein is no limit to the 
divine guidance ; yet it would be a mistake to suppose 
that the Hebrews could not distinguish between religious 
and civil allegiance. The story of Joseph and of Daniel 
and much else offers positive proof to the contrary. 
Some of the prophets may have directed a more or less 
ascetic hfe led by those called the sons of the prophets ; 
but this subject is rather obscure. 

Guidance in action brings us to the function of 
prophecy with respect to the future, which indeed has 
already been involved to some extent in the discussion 
of what has been called short-distance prophecy, upon 
which there is no need to return. Rather let us in 
conclusion consider long-distance prophecy, and in 
general the larger hope of Israel. Types there were, 
persons and things and events signifying persons and 
things and events of greater import still to come. In 
the main, types are a sign to believers rather than un- 
believers ; yet some of them are very striking, for 



52 THE PROPHETS 

example, the paschal lamb, viewed in the light of the 
Johannine writings. 

There is also to be found in prophecy what I venture 
to call compenetration, a form of prophetic idealisation, 
wherein the more immediate present fades away, as it 
were, into the mightier fulfilment of the same divine 
counsel, which gradually glows through till it takes full 
possession of the screen. Let me present this doctrine 
in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, from the preface to 
his commentary on the Psalms : — 

" Prophecies are sometimes uttered about things 
which existed at the time in question, but are not 
uttered primarily with reference to them, but in so 
far as they are a figure of things to come ; and there- 
fore the Holy Ghost has provided that when such 
prophecies are uttered, some details should be 
inserted which go beyond the actual thing done, in 
order that the mind may be raised to the thing 
signified. Thus in Daniel many things are said of 
Antiochus as a figure of Antichrist ; wherefore some 
things are therein read which were not accom- 
plished in the case of Antiochus, but will be 
fulfilled in Antichrist. Thus, too, some things are 
read about the kingdom of David and Solomon, 
which were not to find fulfilment in the kingdom of 
these men, but they have been fulfilled in the 
kingdom of Christ, in figure of whom they were 
said. Such is Psalm Ixxi., 'Give to the king thy 
judgment, O God,' which, according to its title, deals 
with the kingdom of David and Solomon, but there 
is something said therein which exceeds the power 
of that kingdom, viz., 'In his days shall justice 
spring up, and abundance of peace, till the moon 



THE PROPHETS 53 

be taken away'; and again, 'He shall rule from sea 
to sea, and from the river unto the ends,' etc. This 
psalm, therefore, is expounded of the kingdom of 
Solomon, in so far as it is a figure of the kingdom 
of Christ, in whom all things there said shall be 
fulfilled." 

St. Thomas is doubtless basing his view in great part 
upon St. Jerome's note on Daniel xi. 21 ff. As we are 
holding these conferences in honour of this great biblical 
doctor, it may be well to quote also the words wherein 
for the first time, in what may be called the greatest of 
his commentaries, he explicitly sets forth this important 
teaching. He sets it forth, however, not as something 
new and original, but as the current Catholic opinion 
of his day, that Antiochus was a t^npe of Antichrist, 
" and that what befell Antiochus beforehand in part is to 
be accomplished in Antichrist in full. And that this 
is the wont of Holy Writ, to anticipate in types the truth 
of things that are to be, as in what is said of the Lord 
Saviour in Psalm Ixxi., which has Solomon's name 
prefixed to it, whereas all that is said of Him cannot 
apply to Solomon. For he did not endure 'with the 
sun and before the moon, throughout all generations ' . . . 
But in part and, as it were, in a shadow and image of the 
truth, these things were anticipated in Solomon, that 
they might be more perfectly fulfilled in the Lord Saviour. 
As therefore the Saviour has both Solomon and the other 
holy men as a type of His coming, so Antichrist has that 
most wicked king Antiochus." 

This principle of the blending or compenetration of 
type and antitype appears to go back to St. Peter 
himself, in the discourse recorded in Acts ii. T4-36 ; and 
the importance of it has been recognised by more 



54 THE PROPHETS 

than one recent Catholic writer. Not being able to 
expound the subject so fully as I should wish, I may 
perhaps be allowed to refer for a more detailed treatment 
to the chapter on " Christ in Type and Prophecy " in 
my little book, Back to Christ, where also it may be 
seen how His Eminence Cardinal Billot has appHed the 
principle to the child of Isaiah vii. 

Direct predictions we also find, long-distance prophecies 
in the strictest sense. Jacob, for example, prophesies 
of Judah in words which it appears fairiy safe to translate 
thus : 
"The sceptre shall not pass from Judah, 

Nor the staff from between his feet, 

Until he come whose it is, 

And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples." 

(Gen. xlix. lo.) 
Thus, when Judah has finally lost its independence, the 
kingly sceptre in peace and the marshal's staff in war, 
the Messiah is to come to save the nations. But He 
is to save them through His passion and death, foretold 
in poems which my friend Pere Condamin at Hastings 
has so ably translated and expounded in his edition of 
Isaiah. This death, again, is re-enacted in the universal 
sacrifice among the nations which Malachy foretells shall 
supplant the sacrifices in the Temple. To set forth these 
and other prophecies at length has seemed upon the 
whole of less importance than to insist upon the funda- 
mental principles of prophecy as such. One feature 
may be singled out, however, common to the three 
prophecies just mentioned, and repeated in the Psalms 
and elsewhere, to which also emphatical appeal is made 
in the New Testament, for example, by St. James at 
Jerusalem (Acts xv. 17) and by St. Paul in his epistle to 



THE PROPHETS 55 

the Romans (e.g. xv. 9-12) : it is the strong universalism 
that appears again and again in the Old Testament, the 
marvellous and God-given conviction that so small a 
people were big with blessing for all mankind. 

And how was it to be fulfilled ? That God, who had 
so striven to present Himself as a hving Person to His 
people through the prophets, was at the last to woo them 
in the Flesh itself, to found a New Covenant, wherein 
should be neither Jew nor Greek, but Himself all in all. 



IV. 

CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

By the Rev. C. C. MARTINDALE, S.J., M.A. 

I AM scarcely exaggerating when I say that an incident, 
which I have related perhaps too often, came as a sort 
of revelation to me. A young chauffeur once asked me 
what I thought of Sunday cinemas. He approved of 
them ; he had been to one, and seen a film representing 
the Life of Christ. " If I'd not been to that cinema," 
said he, "I might not so much as have heard of Jesus 
Christ." " Jack," I said, " how is that possible ? 
You're 22 ! " Well, his parents had died when he was 
a child ; the Board School hadn't mentioned Jesus 
Christ ; the garage assuredly had not taught him about 
that Life. At 22 the lad knew nothing of our Lord. 
" Why," I added, " d'you use His name so much to 
swear by then ? " " Why," he retorted, " does your 
sort say ' By Jove ' ? " "I don't know ; they don't 
mean anything particular by it." " No more don't I," 
he answered, " when I says ' Christ '." 

It would be out of place were I to insist on the ap- 
palling nemesis that has befallen a country which 
claimed, once, to have restored the pure Gospel, to have 
re-established the rule of the One Mediator, and has now 
lost Gospel alike and knowledge of its Saviour. No 
one, I fancy, wiU maintain we are any more a Bible- 
reading nation ; and a notable book. The Army and 

56 



CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 57 

Religion, while agreeing that the Army — that is, the 
ordinary EngUshman — was Theist, asked lately if it 
was Christian, and had to answer " No." 

At least, the Bible-Christian of an eariier generation 
knew much about our Lord, His words and works, His 
lovableness. The heavy-burdened knew they could 
turn to Him ; they went, and He gave them rest. In a 
thousand ways the Church has ever kept Christ and 
Christian intimately linked ; super-eminently, by the 
Communion of His Real Presence in the Eucharist. But 
through the Gospels we at least learn about Him, and 
that is why no Congress like this one could dream of 
omitting to speak of the Person of Jesus Christ, of 
whom the Old Testament prophesied, towards whom 
the New looks back, union through whom with God is 
the aim and scope of divine Revelation. 
***** 

Tiiirty, or even twenty, even ten, years ago, the writer 
of a paper such as this might have felt more seriously 
embarrassed than I need — embarrassed, at any rate, for 
at least two reasons which are no more so cogent, if 
at all. 

To-day we can safely say that the historical existence 
of Jesus of Nazareth is outside dispute. Even before 
the nineteenth century, Dupuis and Volney asserted 
that the gospels were a mere tissue of astral myths, 
symbols, allegories. They possessed no historical foun- 
dation in a human life. These men were grotesquely 
unscientific : but while Bruno Bauer saw in Christ 
merely an ideal figure, a sort of visionary " anti-Caesar " 
created by the social misery of the under-classes in the 
Graeco-Roman world, he seemingly supported his thesis 
with scientific argument. Kalthoff also argued that 



58 CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

the person of Jesus was a literary fiction created to 
support an ideal conception of " Christ," the King 
needed to be head of a longed-for Kingdom ; J. M. 
Robertson supposed Him to have been the hero of a 
semi-pagan, semi-Jewish miracle-play ; Jensen con- 
sidered the Gospels to be a Judaised version of the 
Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh ; B. Smith and A. Drews 
thought that the stories about Jesus were invented to 
consohdate a mystical faith in Christ, and so on. Erbt 
regarded the Gospels as a solar myth ; and Niemojewski 
perceived that in Matthew Christ is a solar deity, in 
Luke a lunar deity, that Herod the Great, Herod 
Antipas, Herodias and Salome are the constellations of 
Aquarius, Scorpio, Cassiopeia and Andromeda respec- 
tively, and that the Cross is the Milky Way. I have 
chosen these names to show how this school has toppled 
over into nonsense ; I need scarcely refer you to M. J. 
Lagrange's Sens du Christianisme (translated into 
Enghsh by Dr. W. S. Reilly, S.S.) for the refutation of 
all this, when M. Guignebert, an extreme rationahst, 
has, in his Probleme de Jesus, made us reahse that 
criticism is not likely to pursue this path. The future 
need not trouble itself over that problem. 

What has ruined so much of this sort of theorising at 
the base is, partly, the tremendous swing-back of 
criticism in the matter of dating the Gospels, and of 
their authenticity. Doubtless this is in great measure 
due to Harnack ; and the work he has done on the Lucan 
writings affects both Gospel and Acts ; and though St. 
Matthew is still more disputed than St. Mark, and St. 
John than either, it remains that a Cathohc, who would 
have looked a fool in learned eyes if, thirty years ago, 
he had maintained the traditional dates and authorships. 



CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 59 

can do so now and find himself practically coinciding 
with the conclusions of much independent scholarship. 
As for St. John, I will quote as symptomatic — no more 
than that — a sentence lately written by a reviewer of 
Bishop Gore's Epistles of St. John in the Oxford Magazine : 
" [the writer] is inclined to think that . . . the Johan- 
nine authorship [will] become, like Bentley's digamma, 
no longer a prophetic vision, but a doctrine to be held 
by all sane men." If this holds for the Epistles, a fortiori 
it holds for the Gospel. 

As for St. Paul, I have never been able to drive myself 
into that state of mind which accepts as his the four 
" great " epistles, Romans, Corinthians I. and //., and 
Galatians, and rejects or doubts the others, especially 
Colossians, Philippians, or Ephesians. I feel with Dr. 
Headlam, Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, whom 
Fr. Lattey quotes in his Back to Christ, p. 18, that 
" Ephesians is Pauline through and through, and more 
even than Romans represents the deepest thoughts of 
the Apostles, and to [doubt its integrity] shows an 
incapacity to form a judgment of any value in critical 
matters." So for the others. 

As for the reliability of our New Testament, I con- 
sider that the different rationalist schools have defeated 
one another. Thus I think that the French schools, 
like Loisy's, however unsatisfactory in other ways, have 
at least discredited the sort of " liberal protestant 
pastor " whom Harnack, for example, sees to underlie 
the Gospel portrait of our Lord ; and that Germany has 
disproved those of its own schools, and Loisy's school, 
who picture a merely eschatological Christ, a Jewish 
enthusiast expecting an inominent end to the world, 
preaching an interim religion and founding no Church 



6o CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

which should outlast his generation. Many of the argu- 
ments which demolish the " mythical " explanation of 
Christ to which I alluded, defeat too the syncretist 
schools which imagine that Greek, Asiatic, Egyptian 
and other rituals and formulas conspired to create the 
infant Church, which proceeded then to reconstruct its 
historical memories of Jesus to suit itself. For a review 
of this situation I again recommend Lagrange's Sens 
du Christianisme. 

St. Paul in particular I wish to emphasise as reliable. 
Not only he could proclaim, quite generally, that if he 
himself or an angel from heaven preached anything 
which did not coincide with what he always had preached, 
he must be held anathema, but you clearly see that at 
all points he had resort to the original apostles, men 
far less intellectual or imperial-minded than he, tested 
his own Gospel by theirs, checked it, was acknowledged 
as not deviating from it, and was commissioned by them 
to preach it. Throughout the New Testament, its 
authors and its heralds, there is spiritual and doctrinal 
sohdarity ; Paul is not against Peter, nor the Synoptists 
alien to St. John. 

Our knowledge of Jesus must be the knowledge given 
by the New Testament, massively and as a whole. 

Now taking the New Testament as a whole, it might 
be more scientific to display what was the faith preached 
to and believed by the earliest Church as deduced from 
the earhest documents, i.e. some of St. Paul's letters 
whether his earhest of all was Thessalonians or {vid. 
Westminster Version, Galatians) the Galatians. You 
would there see the whole Christian Faith of Trinity, 
Incarnation, Redemption, and the Church not exactly 



CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 6i 

codified and asserted as such, but what is far more 
significant, alluded to, almost en passant, as familiar 
and known. This is far better evidence for the universal 
Christian faith, as being something that can be pre- 
supposed and taken for granted, than any series of 
protests or new definitions. But I would rather outline 
the portrait of Christ as it first showed itself to His 
contemporaries, and study the documents which, if not 
as they stand the earhest, yet portray the earhest period, 
and do so with such simplicity, such coherence, such 
naiveness of realism yet transcendence of doctrine, as to 
make any unsophisticated reader certain that the picture 
is true to life. 

The public life of Jesus began tacitly. The fierce 
ascetic Baptist cried aloud ; the city thronged out to 
him. But mingled in the crowd, Christ came, indis- 
tinguishable. And when He began, in His turn, to 
preach, His message too seemed unoriginal — the Coming 
of a Kingdom. It was the ancient Jewish hope ; Christ, 
like any prophet, you would at first have said, is come 
— is sent — has for His work to announce just that ; and 
to that, sends those who group themselves around Him. 
But gradually, through the parables, through the dis- 
courses, the notion of the Kingdom developes itself as 
beyond anything that Old Testament vision had descried. 
Is it for the Jews, or to be world-wide ? Contemporary, 
or for the future ? A gradual growth, or catastrophic ? 
Within the soul, or visible, material ? To be earned, or 
to be received, free favour from God, who alone can give 
it ? The enigma is insoluble till you perceive it is all 
of these things. It has begun ; yet it is not consum- 
mated ; from Judaea it arises, but its limits are the 
world's and the temporal shall extend into eternity. It 



62 CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

is a pearl to be bought by every sacrifice ; yet it is God's 
gift to His beloved ; it is a city on a hill, a lamp on a 
lamp-stand ; yet a leaven working secretly ; a hidden 
grain, germinating through heat and cold, rain and wind 
and sleep, suddenly, some day only, to dazzle you by a 
field full of vivid green. 

Alas, it may be resisted ; it is forced on none ; the 
guests refuse their invitation, swine would but trample 
on the Pearl ; to the end Jerusalem refuses her Saviour's 
brooding wings : nay, even within the Kingdom's net 
there are good fish and bad ; in its field, tares grow 
within the wheat, only at long last to be cast forth, back 
to the barren sea, or to burn. 

However, you may perceive more and more that the 
emphasis lay on the changed heart ; for its sake, the 
exterior and material existed. Pharisee, Scribe, were — 
weU, if not wholly wrong, at least not right enough : 
the triumph of the Kingdom was the essential alteration 
of the fountain of the soul's life, a complete annihilation 
of separative self-love ; a purification of far beyond 
mere behaviour ; an assimilation to the perfection of the 
Father, in favour of which all that might prevent it 
must be abandoned, hand cut off, eye plucked out ; 
riches at least be feared ; home, parents, perhaps 
abandoned ; nay, a Cross be shouldered and carried 
every day. This new heart, our Lord makes clear, is to 
succeed precisely in proportion as it approaches, by a 
special route, to the divine Perfection. Impossible con- 
ception even for the highest of Hebrew seers ! It was 
the Hebrew prerogative to insist on the unapproachable- 
ness of God, however deep His condescension towards 
His elect. " My thoughts are not as your thoughts, 
neither are your ways My ways, saith Yahweh. For as 



CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 63 

the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways 
higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your 
thoughts." But Christ re-reveals the Father. This is 
not the place to relate in detail that radical revelation. 
Enough to say that He shows God to be such in tender 
intimacy and homeliness of paternal love as to offer to the 
individual soul a new access based on a new relationship 
possible or actual. But how, a Jew, hearing this from 
Christ's lips, might ask, how can You give that revela- 
tion so as to convince us of its reUability ? In many 
ways our Lord offered His guarantees : prophecy fulfilled 
in Himself ; Messianic miracles worked, in God's name, 
by Him. But, for us, at least, and for all who " heard" 
Him, who " came to Him," most cogent of all is the 
terrific asseveration 
All things are given over to me by my Father, 
And no one fully knows the Son save the Father, 
Nor does any one fully know the Father save the Son, 
And he to whom the Son may choose to reveal Him. 

(Matt. xi. 27. Luke x. 22.) 
The unique revelation is rooted in the unique relation 
of Jesus Himself to the Father. Herein our Lord 
transcends even that title. Son of Man, known by now 
to be at least Messianic, which He appropriates alto- 
gether to Himself ; herein He says more than that, as in 
the Parable (Matt. xxi. 28, and xxii. 2), He is the ex- 
clusive son and heir, and indicates that all the Prophets 
are servants, as of the Father, so of Himself ; more 
even than when (Mark xiii. 32) we see that He exalts 
Himself so high that the very angels are below Him. 
He asserts a perfect reciprocity of knowledge between 
Himself and the Eternal and Infinite Father of all 
things, and therefore one of nature ; and not because He 



64 CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

is Messiah is He to be called " Son of God," but because 
He is one with God, He can reveal Him to the world 
and save it. 

Herein is the explanation, at last, of why in an un- 
shared way our Lord speaks of God as " My Father " ; 
and of Himself as The Son in a unique and essential way, 
the more noticeable for His insistence, throughout, upon 
God's Universal Fatherhood and the brotherhood of all 
mankind in Him. 

Christ is the co-equal son of the Father, and to men 
He offers a gift that is divine. 

Do not fear that this transcendent revelation will 
spoil for you the Humanity of Jesus. Read the Gospels, 
and you will never forget Bethlehem and Mary and her 
baby : the shepherds, the starlit flight : Jesus at His 
carpentering ; the sick at sunset ; the children in His 
arms ; Olivet, Gennesareth, nor Gethsemane, and the 
fear and the heartbreak ; the frightful struggle of a life 
against its imminent violent ending ; the scourge, the 
crown, the carrying of the Cross, the nails ; the ultimate 
proof of humanity, His Death. So tenderly, so gently 
through aU the tiniest, most customary things of life, 
as through its tremendous ultimate necessities, is the 
vast revelation given, that without fear of — I will not 
say, alas, refusal, but of frightening us by His due glory, 
He can place Himself at the centre of the world, and say : 
" Come unto ME, all ye that labour, and are heavy 
laden ; take My yoke upon you and learn of ME, for 
I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest 
for your souls." 

Do not imagine that Paul is any more foreign to our 
humanity than are the first three Gospels. At any rate, 
it is Hebrews that tells us we have not merely some High 



CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 65 

Priest, who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, 
but that Christ was tested at all points, just as we are, 
though without sin. To me, Paul, through and through, 
was permeated with the humanity of Jesus — especially 
Christ crucified, Christ with whom he was co-crucified, 
co-buried, Christ who emptied Himself by taking the 
form of a slave and becoming in the hkeness of men ; 
and being recognised by His fashion — what we could see 
of Him, as man, humbled Himself [yet further] by 
becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the 
Cross. 

And it is John who tells us of that which his eyes had 
seen, his hands had handled, in many an exquisite in- 
cident left unrecorded by the Synoptists ; of the mid- 
night talk with Nicodemus ; of Jacob's well, and how 
our Lord let Himself sink there, exhausted — sedehat sic 
with no less tenderness than Mark when he relates how 
Christ slept in the storm-tossed boat, His head upon a 
pillow. Read and re-read the washing of the Feet and 
the discourse and the prayer of Thursday evening ; in 
no literature has a human love so pure, so strong, so 
unutterably intimate been told of. 

But what Paul cries to the world is more than that. 
Through Christ, existing before all creation, all creation 
came to be, and in Him its true existence is, and from 
Him. For God, who in many ways and fragments had 
revealed Himself of old, summed up that revelation in 
the person of a Son, the exact Image of God the In- 
visible, His Effulgence, Light from Light, the Impress of 
His substance, as stamp corresponds to seal — Jesus is 
the Lord — is Yahweh, and Heir of all things. So for 
John. In the beginning existed that Word which is the 
Father's thought and the adequate expression of that 



66 CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

thought ; He was along with God, and He was God. 
He shared God's glory before the world was, and thence 
into our world proceeded, and thither from our world 
returned ; " Whoso hath seen Me, hath seen the Father," 
" The Father remains in Me and I in Him," " I and the 
Father are one thing." 

Pre-existence then, and Incarnation : but Incarna- 
tion, why ? 

That we might, says Paul, be co-risen, co-heirs, co- 
glorified, co-kings with Him ; that we might, says St. 
John, "have life in His name," "have life," says our 
Lord Himself, "and have it more abundantly." 

It is Paul's clear doctrine that to the race was given, 
in the person of Adam, a supernatural hfe, impl}dng a 
supernatural union with God and a destiny of eternal, 
supernatural happiness. Adam, by his sin, lost it, and 
we, incorporated with him, lost it too. " In Adam, 
all died." By a new incorporation, with a Second 
Adam, who has that hfe, and life, not by favour, this 
time, but by nature, we are to recover it. " In Christ 
shall all be made aUve." In Christ — a tiny phrase, yet 
used 164 times, in those letters of St. Paul which remain 
to us. For all is in it. Herein is Redemption, hereby 
Glorification. Christ, by His obedience unto death, 
nailed to His Cross the handwriting that was against 
us, and by His resurrection proved that when we 
incorporate ourselves with Him, we do so with that 
which is Immortal. Forthwith springs into existence 
the complement of Christ — " the Church which is His 
Body, the Plenitude of Him who thus completes Him- 
self." " You are Christ's body (collectively), and 
[individually] His members . . . unto the building up 
of the body of Christ into a perfect man, unto the measure 



CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 67 

of the stature of the Plenitude of Christ . . . who is the 
Head " (Eph. iv. 12). Of this mystic Christ, the Spirit 
is as it were the soul ; "He who adheres to the Lord 
is one Spirit " (i Cor. vi. 17). This Spirit is our principle 
of cohesion, of vital action ; we hve in Him (Gal. v. 25), 
walk in Him (Gal. v. 16), under His impulse take the 
shape of Christ (2 Cor. iii. 18), " I live, no longer I, but 
Christ lives in me," even as I am in Him. 

I have no space to speak of Paul's other metaphors 
— expressive of that union of Christian and Christ 
which is no metaphor — that one, but many-chambered 
house (hke John's sanctuary in the Apocalypse, wherein 
each Uving pillar is inbuilded into the whole) — the union 
of Spouse and his beloved. Impossible to exaggerate 
the reality of the inpouring of Christ's hfe into our hfe. 
Impossible, too, even to outline adequately St. John's 
promulgation of the same truth. We must be born again 
— from above — have God's creative spirit inbreathed 
into us. We must receive God's free gift of living 
water so that it becomes in us a fountain leaping up 
into Eternal Life, and overbrims ourselves and gives 
life to the world. The restoration of the paralytic to 
Hfe, nay, of dead Lazarus to hfe, is nothing compared 
to that leaping forth of human life into the life of super- 
nature, a new life compared with which the best of the 
old is as death. And how appropriate this Life ? 
Again, by union with Him who gives it, because He has 
it, and has it, because He is it." I AM the resurrection," 
" I AM the life," " No man cometh to the Father save 
by Me." By Christ's own life are we nourished : the 
patriarchs ate bread from heaven, but they died ; He 
that eateth my bread shall never die — for / am the 
Bread from Heaven, and that bread which I shall give 



68 CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

for the life of the world, is my Flesh — He that eateth 
my Flesh and drinketh my Blood HATH Eternal Life — 
he remaineth in Me and I in him. As ... I live by the 
Father, so He that eateth me, shall live by Me, that as 
" Thou," He prays to the Father, " art in Me and I in 
Thee, so they may be in Us . . . one thing, as We are 
one thing, I in them, and they in Me, that they may be 
made complete into one." The Eucharist could not 
nourish the only life for whose sake it exists, were it 
anything less than the Living Christ, really and truly 
present for the " deification " of our souls. 

I cannot bring myself to finish this paper without 
recalling the Apocalypse in which John sees focussed as 
it were to a point the remaining history of the world — 
the destruction of the great pagan anti-Christian Empire, 
and the final destruction of sin and all that resists the 
triumph of our Lord. 

There are those who find this book's presentment of 
Him harsh, or at least austere to the point of being 
terrible ; at the outset He is seen endued with the 
raiment, surrounded with the symbolism, proper to 
Yahweh in the Old Testament ; as the book proceeds. 
He rides forth as a Conqueror, a Triumphator ; He 
wields a sword, His clothes are drenched in blood. 

But not untrue to himself is the Apostle of Love. 
Read the most tender even when most stern letters to 
the Seven Churches, which are set in preface to the book. 
See in what terms Christ promises His intimacy to the 
victorious soul. The Conqueror shall be given a white 
tessera, or badge, and on it a new name written, that 
no one knows save Him who gives and him who receives 
it — the new self — the new way of existing, to which 



CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 69 

the new name belongs, and which comes through, 
which is, the supernatural union of Christ and Christian. 
On the pillars of the new Temple are written three Names, 
the Name of God, the Name of the New Jerusalem, and 
" My own new Name." The soul is sealed as God's, 
and it is an integral part of that divine Church that 
Christ has builded, and — unfathomable condescension 
of God who will not only give, but accepts — without the 
incorporate Christian Christ Himself were less, the self 
of His Plenitude were imperfect ; He wins His new self 
whereby He is the Church's head, thanks precisely to the 
fidehty and victory of the Church's members ; He too 
has a New Name. 

Last of all He says, " Behold, I am standing at the 
door and am knocking : if a man hear My voice and open 
the door, then I will enter in to him and I will eat with 
him, and he with Me." Heart has met heart, and it is 
enough. After all the visions, the high hymns of praise, 
the thunders of many waters, the whole book calms 
itself into the Church's expectant humble prayer. 
Come ! " Yes," He answers, " Behold I come quickly." 
*' Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen." For though, as 
St. John elsewhere says, " to as many as receive Him, to 
them He gives power to become sons of God," and " we 
are called children of God, and so in fact we are," yet it 
remains true that the manifestation of this present 
reality is for the future, and though heaven is even now 
in us, by grace, we are not yet, by glory, in our heaven. 
We can say truly, both " I am at home here, in my 
Father's house," and, " For thee, oh dear, dear 
country, mine eyes their vigils keep." 

The Jesus of Nazareth is the Jesus of Holy Communion 
and the Judge of the world, and our reward eternally. 



70 CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT 

In the New Testament then we are shown a human hfe 
of which a child can understand the lovableness and the 
beauty, with which the poorest, the unhappiest, the 
sick and the sinner can enter into the most intimate 
sympathy ; a baby ; a working-man ; a man of lonehness 
and fear ; of friendships, of hopes, and of heart- 
break ; a man, in all this, untainted, never once 
selfish, never untrue. And we are shown that this 
same man is the Son of God made man, that thereby 
He might knit us men into Himself, and thereby into 
God, and thus into unity with one another, becoming 
one bread of many grains, one Vine, with Him for 
stem, ourselves for branches, ahve with one leaping 
sap, that is the Spirit who inhabits us. All then, most 
assuredly, is recapitulated into Christ, as St. Paul 
says ; brought to a head in Him ; all the desire of the 
ages, and all force for the future. 

There are those whose duty it is to study the Christ of 
Dogma : those who essay to discover, through old docu- 
ments, the Christ of History : those, and in our country 
they are many, who, despairing, it may be, of attaining 
to either of these, content themselves with the Christ of 
Experience. I should have to ask pardon of you, even 
more humbly than I do, after these brief, fumbhng 
words about the Son of God made man, had I wholly 
failed to show you that these three are the same ; and 
that the Jesus of Bethlehem and Calvary, the God-man 
of theology, and the Christ of our Communions, our 
Captain, Comrade, and Lover, are One, and the Life of 
our whole soul. 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH IN THE 
NEW TESTAMENT. 

By the Rev. R. A. Knox, M.A. 

The Catholic doctrine of the Church is one which needs 
a double line of defence. In order to defend it, it is 
necessary to prove in the first place that our Divine 
Lord meant to leave behind Him an organized body of 
followers, and in the second place that He meant to leave 
that body organized in a particular way, and not in any 
one of a dozen different ways which have been proposed 
or adopted as rival interpretations. This second 
question — whether, for example, our Lord Himself 
instituted the episcopate, and whether He conferred 
extraordinary privileges on St. Peter and his successors — 
is one that is capable of statement only after a very full, 
detailed treatment, and from the lips of an expert. It 
is the former question, appealing as it does to a set of 
general impressions rather than to a string of texts or a 
catena of age-long controversy, that I want to consider 
in this lecture — the question, namely, whether it was 
in our Lord's intention to found an organization at all. 
For, after all, outside a comparatively close circle of her 
critics, the claims of the Church are set aside not, directly, 
because she has a particular kind of organization, but 
because she has so much of it ; and, often enough, when 

71 



72 THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

you come to investigate the grievance, because she is an 
organized body at all. The wiseacre of the modern 
railway carriage has it laid up among his stock of in- 
controvertible platitudes that he doesn't belong to any 
religious body at all ; if one of his fellow-travellers looks 
Hke an Anglican clergyman, he adds that if he did he 
would be a Roman Catholic. 

The issue can be put in a nutshell if we ask — Did our 
Lord come to introduce into the world an abstract 
thing, Christianity, or a concrete, though spiritual, 
entity, Christendom ? Is the visible monument of His 
sojourn in the world an influence over the thoughts and 
hves of men, like that of Confucius, or an Institute, like 
that of St. Ignatius ? Is the rude name of " Christian," 
shouted out by the street-boys of Antioch, inherited as 
of right by everyone who conforms himself to Christ's 
rule of life, and according to the measure in which he 
succeeds, or does it belong, primarily, to a defined and 
self-propagating religious corporation, with its own 
forms of government and its own ceremonies ? Those 
who, after Tolstoy and Renan, would represent our 
Blessed Lord as an ethical idealist, and equally those 
who, after Schweitzer, would represent Him as a chiliastic 
fanatic, are forced to suppose that the outward shell of 
institutional religion which has, historically, preserved 
His record and His message, is a husk merely, discernible 
from the true grain ; that its hierarchy, for example, and 
its liturgy are, historically, accretions ; spiritually, 
matters of indifference. There is another view which I 
hope to set before you, which maintains that the con- 
tinuation of His work by a visible, organized Society is an 
integral part of our Lord's purpose in His Incarnation. 
The name everywhere given to the Society which has. 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 73 

de facto, descended from Him is the E celesta. He used 
that name Himself, when, for example, He hailed one of 
His apostles as the foundation-stone of His ecclesia. 
There was, at that time, already an ecclesia in existence — 
a calling out of certain specially favoured souls from 
among their fellow-men : it was, for practical purposes, 
nearly equal in extent with an ethnographical unit, the 
Jewish race. It, then, our Lord meant to have an 
ecclesia of His own, some further selection is clearly 
impHed, whether altogether inside, or altogether outside, 
the old ecclesia, or as a fresh circle intersecting, so to 
speak, the old circle. Now, when our Lord thus takes 
it for granted, in speaking to a circle of not over-quick- 
witted followers, that it is part of His purpose to estabHsh 
an ecclesia of His own, it is hard to suppose that He was 
introducing them suddenly to a quite unfamiliar idea. 
He must have depended upon being understood from 
His context. What is the context ? He has just been 
hailed as the Messiah. Surely, then, His answer must 
mean : " Yes, and as (at least) the Messiah, I have come 
to institute a fresh ecclesia : it is on you, Peter, that I 
mean to build it." The new Ecclesia is the complement, 
the correlative, of the promised Messiah. What, then 
were the ideas ordinarily entertained in the minds of our 
Lord's contemporaries as to the Christ and His Church ? 
A vast amount of attention has been devoted lately 
to the eschatological writings which, lying outside the 
Canon of Holy Scripture, mostly belong to a period 
between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning 
of the New. From a consideration of them we should 
conclude that the expectations of the Chosen People 
at the time of the Christian era were something as 
follows. That there was to be a kingdom of God, either 



74 THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

upon the present earth (Ethiopian Enoch, 1-36, 83-104), 
or in a new Creation {ib. 37-70), either temporary {ib. 
91-104) or eternal {ib. 1-90), perhaps connected with a 
Final Judgment, which would either precede {ib. 37-70) 
or follow it {ib. 91-104, and Psalms of Solomon), such 
judgment would be executed, perhaps on certain selected 
classes of men and angels (Ethiopian Enoch, 90), perhaps 
on all {ib. 37-70), the Kingdom and the judgment might 
be connected with the coming of a personal Messiah 
{ib. 83-90 ; Sibylline Oracles, No. 3), or it might not 
(Ethiopian Enoch, 1-36, 91-104 ; Psalms of Solomon, 
1-16) ; perhaps a Man, of the seed of David (Psalms of 
Solomon, 17), perhaps a supernatural Being, described 
as the Son of Man (Ethiopian Enoch, 37-70). Either at 
the beginning (Ethiopian Enoch, 1-36) or at the end 
{ib. 91-104) of the Kingdom there would perhaps be a 
Resurrection, either of all mankind (Ethiopian Enoch, 
51) or of the righteous only {ib. 37-70), which was to 
take place either in the body {ib. 1-36) or in the spirit 
{ib. 91-104), or in a new and spiritual body {ib. 37-70). 
Finally, the Gentiles would either be converted {ib. 16) 
or annihilated {ib. 37-70), or spared to serve the conquer- 
ing Israehtes {ib. 90 ; Psalms of Solomon, 17). 

It will be seen that at this period eschatology, as an 
exact science, was in its infancy. But if we want to get 
at the popular impressions our Lord was dealing with 
(and it is only natural to suppose that He used language 
in its popular meaning when He addressed a popular 
audience), it seems fairly clear from all the recorded 
observations of His own contemporaries, from the 
Benedictus onwards, that the fixed hope was of the 
coming of a Messiah, who should set up a Kingdom, 
presumably an earthly kingdom, after triumphing over 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 75 

the Romans and the other enemies of the chosen people ; 
repentance for sin was indicated as the proper attitude in 
face of this approaching world-epoch, otherwise there 
was no definite theology on the subject. 

It was part of our Lord's teaching to identify Himself 
with the promised Messiah, and in doing so to correct 
and fill out popular conceptions of what salvation, 
redemption, and judgment meant. It was also part of 
His teaching to identify the Kingdom of Heaven (or 
Kingdom of God) with — what ? Surely in the first 
instance, surely where the contrary is not stated, the 
earthly, Davidic kingdom which His hearers would be 
expecting. He has to take gross, materialistic ideas, 
and terms as the symbols of those ideas, and invest them 
with a fresh meaning in order to prepare the way for that 
spiritual kingdom which (He told Pilate) His servants 
would not attempt to achieve by force. This is true, 
above all, of the parables, in which the phrase "the 
kingdom of heaven " is often too rashly assumed to refer 
to our future existence after the Second Advent, although 
a very httle study of Patristic interpretation shows 
that in most cases there is at least a strong stream of 
tradition which identifies the Kingdom of Heaven with 
the Church militant on earth. 

I say this was part of our Lord's teaching, but, as He 
Himself told His Apostles, it was not in the full sense 
part of His public teaching, for out of the crowds who 
heard His parables only a few, a chosen few, were meant 
to understand them. " To you (the Apostles) it is given 
to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to 
them it isnot given. Therefore do I speak to them in 
parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they 
hear not, neither do they understand.'' In a word, 



76 THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

the economy of the future Church was set forth only in 
a mystery, in language so clothed with allegory that the 
unfriendly critic — above all, the Pharisee, note-book in 
hand and pencil behind ear — would miss its signifi- 
cance ; miss it altogether at first, and then gradually 
become alive to it, till after the parable of the wicked 
husbandmen, one of the last of all, " they knew that He 
spoke of them." In three main points, especially, 
it is necessary to re-interpret the popular ideas about the 
Kingdom of Heaven in the light of the Christian Church, 
(i) It is to include Gentiles as well as Jews, and the 
Gentiles are to be included as in their own right. (2) It 
is to precede the General Judgment, and that by a con- 
siderable interval. (3) It is not to be a perfect kingdom 
in the sense that there will be no traitors and no repro- 
bates among its members. 

(i) The rejection of the Jews as a race, and their 
displacement (in large measure) in favour of the 
Gentiles under the New Dispensation is the secret 
of nearly half the parables. The Jew is the son 
who undertakes to work in the vineyard and does 
not ; the Gentile is the one who refuses and then 
relents. The Jew is the elder son who has never left 
his Father's house ; the Gentile the prodigal who is 
welcomed (it seems so unfairly) on his return home. 
The Jew is the early-hired labourer, who has borne the 
burden of the day and the heat ; the Gentile, called at 
the eleventh hour, is made equal to him. The Jew is 
the rich man who fares sumptuously every day, and, 
though he has Moses and the prophets, has not learned 
to believe ; the Gentile is the beggar who seeks to feed 
on the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table, " and 
no man gave unto him," the very same phrase that is 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH ^y 

used of the prodigal. The Jew is the invited guest who 
accepts the invitation and then cancels his acceptance ; 
the Gentile is called in from the highways and the hedges. 
The Jew is the Pharisee who thanks God that he is not 
as other men are ; the Gentile is the repentant publican 
who goes home justified. The Jewish people are the 
fig-tree which, fruitless, still cumbers the ground ; even 
now the Gardener of Gethsemani is praying that one 
more chance may be given to them. The Jewish people 
are the unfaithful husbandmen who are to murder the 
King's Son ; the Gentiles are those " other husband- 
men " to whom the vineyard will be given. Thus the 
Ecclesia of the New Covenant, the " faithful remnant " 
whom the prophets had declared to be the inheritors 
of God's Kingdom, is not to be a further selection within 
the already-selected Jewish people, like the 300 whom 
Gedeon selected from his already-selected 10,000. The 
new circle is to intersect with the old, and the calling-out 
will proceed according to some new, some not merely 
national basis of qualification. 

Small wonder that our Lord should have made this 
point part of His secret teaching, otherwise He might 
well have been haled to judgment at the beginning of 
His ministry instead of the end ; as it was His accusers 
could not, even at the end of it, make out a coherent 
case against Him. Small wonder that even in the Early 
Church the admission of the Gentiles to Christian 
privileges should have been matter of earnest discussion 
and slow concession ; St. Paul himself speaks of it as a 
mystery, only latterly and only as it were grudgingly 
revealed. " According to grace," he says to the 
Ephesians, " the mystery has now been made known to 
me, which in other generations was not known to the 



78 THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

sons of men, as it is now revealed to His holy Apostles 
and prophets in the Spirit, that the Gentiles should be 
fellow-heirs and partakers of the same body, and co- 
partners of His promise in Christ Jesus." This, then, is 
the first "mystery" of the Kingdom of Heaven, but 
our Lord tells His Apostles of the " mysteries," not 
merely " the mystery " — what else had they to learn ? 
(2) However the first hearers of the Christian preach- 
ing may have conceived beforehand of the " kingdom " 
which the Messiah was to institute, they clearly thought 
that something was going to happen quite suddenly 
which would revolutionize the state of mankind. 
Whether the chosen survivors were to be introduced all 
at once into a new mode of existence, or whether for a 
period, perhaps for a thousand years, there was to be a 
reign of entire peace, prosperity, and holiness on the 
earth, with a general Resurrection at the end of it, they 
must clearly have imagined that the present world 
dispensation was running down to its immediate dis- 
solution. In correction of that impression, our Lord 
is at pains to represent the extension of His kingdom as 
a gradual process, in the parable of the leaven, and 
(giving it a more concrete form) in the parable of the 
mustard-seed. But there is another parable in which 
He deals with the question e% professo — that of the 
pounds, which He delivered " because they thought 
that the Kingdom of God should immediately be mani- 
fested." In this parable, the conspirators who plot 
against the King's life are obviously the Jews ; it 
remains, then, that the servants, faithful and unprofit- 
able alike, should be the chosen of the new dispensation. 
It is expressly said that the nobleman goes into a far 
country, obviously to suggest a long absence. It is the 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 79 

same suggestion that is made in the parables where the 
householder (or whoever the hero of the parable may be) 
is said to sleep — the familiar idea of God leaving His 
servants on their probation. " And when it was now 
noon, Elias jested at them, saying. Cry with a louder 
voice, for he is a God ; and perhaps he is talking, or is 
in an inn, or on a journey ; or perhaps he is asleep, and 
must be awaked." " Up, Lord, why sleepest Thou ? " 
is the familiar cry of the Jew in distress, and it was, no 
doubt, an acted parable when our Lord suffered Him- 
self to sleep in the boat on the lake, when His disciples 
were threatened by the storm. " The kingdom of God 
is as if a man should cast seed into the earth, and should 
sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring 
and grow up whilst he knoweth not." So, too, the 
bridegroom tarries in the parable of the ten virgins. 
What does all this mean, but that the new dispensation 
which is referred to as the " kingdom," is a dispensation 
in this world, of long continuance, during which God 
continues to hide Himself, as He did from His chosen 
people hitherto, in order to put His servants on their 
probation ? 

(3) And if they are on their probation, then it follows 
that the final selection is not yet accomplished ; there 
are foolish as well as wise virgins in the kingdom. Hence 
the twice-repeated phrase, " many are called, but few 
are chosen " — the Christian equivalent of the old Pagan 
tag, " Many are the bearers of the thyrsus, but few the 
true bacchants." Many are " cletoi," that is, members 
of the " ecclesia," now as heretofore, but among these 
many " cletoi " only a certain proportion are actually 
" eclectoi " — in our language, predestined. The Jews 
cancel their acceptance of the invitation to the marriage 



8o THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

feast, but it is not therefore to be supposed that all who 
sit down at that feast are the chosen servants of God ; 
it is possible to be one of the banqueters and yet to have 
no wedding-garment. Two parables quite clearly 
treat the same issue ex professo : that of the cockle among 
the wheat, and that of the net drawing in all manner of 
fishes. The field in the parable of the cockle is the 
world, not explicitly the kingdom ; but the net is 
obviously the kingdom, not simply the world, and yet 
there are worthless fish even inside the net, which are 
brought to shore (that is, to judgment) with the others. 
Look at it which way you will, the Church, in our Lord's 
own forecast, is not the Church of the predestined. 

It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this point 
for our conceptions as to what the Christian religion is 
meant to be. For the Calvinist theory of the Church, 
which was the only logical alternative proposed for 
Cathohcism at the time of the great European apostasy, 
was precisely that the Church in the true sense is simply 
the number of those souls whose names are written in 
heaven who will eventually be saved. That is to say, 
the true Church was of its very nature invisible. And 
the assumption of all that great mass of latitudinarian 
pietism which passes to-day for Christianity is in effect 
the same, namely, that in all rehgious bodies there are 
to be found really Christ-like, really " converted " 
souls, and that everyone is a member of the true Church 
if and in so far as he answers to that description. Which 
seems a very excellent and a very "spiritual " idea — 
only unfortunately, as we have seen, it is precisely not 
the idea Christ taught. The Church to which He 
invited the Gentiles was by its very charter a visible 
Church. 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 8i 

There must, obviously, be two theories of the Sacra- 
ments to correspond with these two theories of the 
Church. Those who beheve in an " invisible " Church 
think that they are going to have it all their own way 
when they get to the 3rd and 6th chapters of St. John. 
" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy 
Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God " — does 
that mean that a mere outward, mechanical act, the 
spilling of a few drops of water, seals the soul indefect- 
ibly for heaven ? The idea is monstrous ; we must, 
therefore, interpret the reference to " being born of the 
Holy Ghost " as implying an intelligent, voluntary 
acceptance of the grace offered in baptism ; in other 
words, conversion. The man who is once really con- 
verted does really enter the Kingdom of God, no mere 
earthly kingdom, but an eternal inheritance. " If any 
man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever ; and the 
bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the 
world." What a promise ! "As the Hving Father 
hath sent Me, and I live hy the Father, so he that eateth 
Me, the same also shall live hy Me." The sacramental 
presence of Christ is actually compared, in the intimacy 
of its union, with the circumincession of the three Persons 
of the Blessed Trinity. Could such guarantees be 
attached to the mere reception of an outward token by 
the lips of one who may be, all the time, a hardened 
sinner ? The idea is monstrous ; we must, therefore, 
understand that the Presence of Christ in the Sacrament 
is true only for those who receive with worthy disposi- 
tions, and not merely those who receive hie et nunc with 
worthy dispositions, but those who will, as a matter of 
fact, persevere to the attainment of everlasting Hfe. 
In a word, as the Church is a spiritual Church, so the 



82 THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

Sacraments are spiritual Sacraments, and the material 
channels which are used in them are only helps to our 
weak human imagination. 

We cannot directly counter this allegorical inter- 
pretation of a passage that cries to be taken literally 
from our Lord's own words, except indeed by pointing 
to the actual formula with which He administered the 
first Eucharist. For, when He uses allegory, the idea 
which He treats allegorically is the predicate of the sen- 
tence, not its subject ; " I am the Way," I am the Good 
Shepherd," " I am the true Vine." This habit of speech 
might cover such a phrase as " I am the hving Bread," 
and an allegory might exhaust its meaning. But it 
quite certainly does not cover the phrase " This {i.e. 
that which I hold in My hands) is My Body." " This 
which is being poured out for you is My Blood." But 
if we will turn from our Lord's own words to those of 
that faithful disciple of His, who is often gratuitously 
hailed as the Apostle of Protestantism, we shall find, 
in a passage to which too little attention is ordinarily 
paid, a direct denial of the Calvinist theory of Church and 
Sacraments. 

After a long passage (i Corinthians, chaps, viii. and ix.), 
in which he has disposed of a laxist opinion in favour of 
eating meats offered to idols, St. Paul leaves, appar- 
ently, the argument from public scandal and devotes 
himself to the argument from danger of lapse into 
heathenism. " Know you not," he says, ** that they 
that run in the race all run indeed, but one receiveth the 
prize ? " This means, clearly, that there will be also- 
rans, that is, nominal Christians, and that the whole 
" field " will outnumber the Christians who will finally 
be saved ; many are called, but few chosen. And then, at 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 83 

the beginning of the next chapter, he falls to comparing 
the two ecclesiae of God, the Church of the Old Covenant 
and the Church of the New. " Our fathers were all 
under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And 
all in Moses were baptized in the cloud and in the sea, 
and did all eat the same spiritual food, and all drank the 
same spiritual drink ; (and they drank of the spiritual 
rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ)." 
He proceeds to rehearse the various backsUdings which 
disqualified some of the Israelites for the attainment of 
the Promised Land, and concludes, " Wherefore, he that 
thinketh he standeth, let him take heed lest he fall." 
The parallehsm in all this is perfectly unmistakable. 
The Israelites are said to have been baptized " into 
Moses " just as Christians are said to be baptized " into 
the Name " of the Father, and of the Son and of the 
Holy Ghost. The passage of the Red Sea, with its 
suggestion of burial, and the pillar of fire that accom- 
panied the host of Israel are both old symbols (as you 
find them in the Liturgy of Holy Saturday) of Christian 
baptism. It is possible, then, to be baptized into the 
Ecclesia of Christ, and yet to fall short of salvation, 
quite as much as it was possible to be baptized into the 
Ecclesia of Moses, and yet fail to reach Canaan. The 
reference to baptism is explicit ; parallelism demands 
that the second half of the argument should be as 
definite a reference to the Blessed Sacrament. The 
" same spiritual food " is the manna, which our Lord 
Himself identified as the imperfect type of the Living 
Bread that was to come ; the water that flowed from the 
rock does duty for a type of the Chalice, presumably an 
allusion to the piercing of our Lord's side at the Cruci- 
fixion. In fact, just as it was possible for many of the 



84 THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

Israelites to eat the manna and drink from the spring 
that were the pledges of God's especial care for His 
people, and yet fall away from Him in the desert, so 
there are those whose participation in the Sacrament 
of Unity marks them out as members of the new Ecclesia, 
whose names are nevertheless not written in heaven. 

The theology of this last point is, of course, drawn out 
still more unmistakably by St. Paul a few chapters 
later, when he is discussing dispositions for the reception 
of the Holy Eucharist. " Whosoever shall eat this 
bread or drink the Chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall 
be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord . . . 
he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and 
drinketh judgment to himself, if he discern not the 
body of the Lord " — here we find that the Sacrament 
of Holy Eucharist, so far from being a mere aid to 
faith designed to inspire devotion in the worthy 
recipient, has actually such virtue in itself that it has 
its effects — terrible effects — upon the sacrilegious soul 
that profanes it. 

When, therefore, it is suggested (as you may see it 
suggested almost any day in one or other of the news- 
papers) that if the Christian rehgion is to retain its hold 
over the allegiance of men in our times, we must get back 
to the " Christianity " of Christ or of His immediate 
followers, they are simply presenting the public with a 
mare's nest. For they mean by such language a 
Christianity which is not merely shorn of all definite 
dogma (which is beside our present purpose), but either 
lacking all outward organization or possessing only such 
outward organization as was confessedly human in its 
origin and conception. And this is, in effect, to revive 
that old dream of the mediaeval heretics, the " invisible 



THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 85 

Church," a company of pious souls all bound for heaven, 
with no hierarchy except such as could be measured 
by degrees of personal holiness, and no Sacraments save 
as symbols of an interior devotion already felt. Whereas 
the actual " Christianity " of Christ and His immediate 
followers involves a Church which is to replace the old 
" Church " of the Jewish people, differing from it in 
dispensing with all tests of nationality, yet resembling 
it in being an organized, visible community. It includes, 
and administers Sacraments to, unworthy Christians 
to whom that adherence will be useless, that participa- 
tion even actively disastrous. That is the Church of 
Christ which it is man's business to find. Men dispute 
our claim to represent the Church of St. Peter ; let us 
ask them whether it is they or we who belong to the 
Church of Judas Iscariot ? Whom our Lord called, 
although He knew that he would be lost. 

For the Church is not merely the continuation, but 
the reflection of the Divine plan according to which God 
took manhood upon Himself. In the Incarnation, 
God could only reveal Himself in proportion as He con- 
cealed Himself, in proportion as He became hke us in 
suffering and in obedience, only without our follies, 
only without our sins. So in the Catholic Church a 
supernatural reality is manifested to us in human guise, 
marred to outward view by the imperfections of all her 
members, and stained by their crimes. The Church 
perfected in heaven is the jewel God stooped to covet, 
but to purchase it He must buy the whole field in which 
it is buried, and the treasure must He hid until the pur- 
chase is completed. We do not know why God values 
the outward and the earthly as well as the inward and 
spiritual ; we only know that He does so, because He 



86 THE ORGANIZED CHURCH 

created us in His Image, because in our image He 
redeemed us. We should not have designed such a 
Church as His ? Perhaps not, but then, should we have 
designed such a world as His ? The Church, if she is 
His, must bear the pinxit of the Creator in her very 
imperfections. 



VI. 

ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER. 

By Canon WILLIAM BARRY. D.D. 

How far the supernatural influence which, after St. Paul, 
we term " Inspiration " (2 Tim. iii, 16), defines not only 
the message but the concrete shape and speech of Holy 
Writ, has long been a question in the Schools. I am 
not proposing to argue that question. But, as was to 
be anticipated, the Keepers of the Deposit have at all 
times agreed with popular feeling, which required that 
the " form of sound words," handed down from a 
venerated past, should not suffer alteration. On the 
other side, a sacred language is ever tending to become 
a dead language by mere lapse of time and change of 
culture ; the problem therefore must arise how to deal 
with Scripture as a portion of the Liturgy and as a 
decisive authority in teaching. Shall it be strictly 
confined to the original form in which it was given, 
intelligible only to scholars, or shall it be rendered into the 
prevaiHng dialect ? Moreover, since Judaism made 
proselytes and the Gospel is to be preached among all 
nations, did not the Gentiles need a version out of the 
Hebrew and Aramaic, while in the Latin world even 
Hellenistic Greek was never generally imderstood, and 
the Barbarians who came down upon the Roman Empire 
brought their own languages with them ? 

87 



88 ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 

This enquiry seems to have entered on the historical 
phase, one episode of which is the occasion why we meet 
to-day, comparatively soon after Alexander's conquests 
had opened Egypt and Asia to Greek ideas, say between 
300 and 100 B.C. The centres of the " new learning " 
were at Antioch and Alexandria ; but its importance 
for us hes in a single word, the '* Septuagint." It was 
a translation, first of the Pentateuch, then of all the Old 
Hebrew Testament, made by Jews for Jews, completed 
before the Christian era in the Common Dialect, and show- 
ing imperfect, very unclassical acquaintance with Greek. 
It took certain hberties in rendering the original, toned 
down its bold anthropomorphism, and created almost 
a new language. That it was held to be inspired, was 
quoted by the New Testament writers as Scripture, and 
all but invariably by St. Paul, explains why so many of 
the Fathers, St. Augustine among them, revered it as 
equal to the divine original. Nevertheless, it is a com- 
pilation due to unknown authors, by no means uniform 
in merit, although precious beyond any other version 
in virtue of its antiquity. We might even term it in 
substance the Old Testament of the Cathohc Church. 

Next in age to the Septuagint among versions come 
the Old Syriac and the Old Latin, belonging to the 
second and third centuries of the Christian era. Ter- 
tulHan refers to a Latin version (Adv. Prax. 5 ; Adv. 
Marc. 5), and St. Cyprian quotes from it constantly ; 
it is still recoverable for the whole of the New Testament ; 
in a somewhat modified form (the Galhcan) as regards 
the Psalter ; in fragments of the Pentateuch, Joshua, 
Judges, Job, and Esther ; and in the Deutero-canonical 
books or portions transferred to our actual Vulgate. We 
have been accustomed to speak of it as the Vetus Itala, 



ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 89 

following a possibly corrupt reading in St. Augustine 
(De Doctr. Christ, ii. 15). Was it of purely African 
origin ? The authors we do not know ; a number of 
partial versions may well have existed. In any case, 
the Old Latin had affinities not with literature but with 
the so-called " rustic language " ; it gave a word-for- 
word and often barbarous rendering of the Seventy ; 
and in the fourth century was corrupted by popular 
usage. 

Coming now to St. Jerome, whose work was undertaken 
at command of Pope Damasus (died 384), we may sum 
up his immense achievements on the Bible-text as 
follows: Between 382 and 391 he revised the Latin 
version of the Gospels and St. Paul's Epistles ; of the 
Psalms and Job according to the Seventy ; and made 
a second revision of the Psalter in accordance with 
Origen's " Hexapla." Whether he translated the whole 
of the Septuagint is disputed, and it remains improbable. 
His oft-repeated emphatic phrase, the " Hebraica 
Veritas," gives us to understand that he no longer 
believed in the inspiration of the Septuagint. Does 
anyone hold it now ? From about 390 until 404-5 he 
was mainly absorbed in rendering the Hebrew Old 
Testament directly into Latin, not omitting the Psalms ; 
but he also revised what had been previously left un- 
touched by him of the New Testament. The Psalms 
from the Hebrew we possess ; they have never been 
taken into the Liturgy. The books of the Second Canon 
he scarcely handled, except by a hasty version of Tobias 
and Judith from the Aramaic. 

I have recited like a herald names and dates in a dry 
catalogue which, nevertheless, represents an enterprise, 
carried through from first to last by one man during a 



90 ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 

quarter of a century, which for its vastness and never- 
ending consequences it would be hard to parallel, im- 
possible perhaps to surpass, in all literature. Origen's 
labours may have been still more extensive ; but even 
as regards Holy Scripture they did not bear fruit like 
Jerome's, and at this day we find rather a memory than 
a monument of the " Adamantine " among Christian 
teachers. St. Jerome's colossal undertaking was at 
once creative and organic ; it gave to Western Christen- 
dom the permanent reading of that Revelation in which 
those nations believed, and it guided them on by moulding 
their religious language towards the type of civilised 
order thus delineated. When Jerome began his task, 
by order of the Holy See, what he found was confusion, 
" as many manuscripts, so many texts " ; infinite 
variations and a barbarous Latin, unworthy of the sub- 
lime original. By the time of St. Gregory the Great his 
better version had won its place and was the acknow- 
ledged standard ; then it became the Vulgate (first so 
called, perhaps, by Roger Bacon), the common text, and 
the Old Latin shrank into a curiosity of literature except 
where preserved by Church usage as in the books of 
Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus. For about a thousand years 
the Bible to Western Christians signified the Latin of a 
Dalmatian scholar and monk who, partly while serving 
the Pope in Rome, but chiefly as a recluse in his monastery 
at Bethlehem, and working almost alone, had translated 
much of the Scriptures again and again, mastered the 
whole, discovered a style of language beautifully fitting 
it, and bestowed on us the supreme literary production 
of the Roman Church. I hail St. Jerome, therefore, as 
the Great Interpreter. We might even say the 
" dragoman," for he was required to cast a hbrary 



ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 91 

of Oriental volumes, Semitic in thought and imagery 
no less than by their language, which bore no rela- 
tion to Latin or Greek, into a form congenial at 
once to the dechning Roman world and the advancing 
Barbarians, whose children would receive baptism. 
Latin itself was to be baptised by a miracle of con- 
version, and at the same time this old and new 
idiom was in such a manner to be handled that it would 
easily survive when the Imperial speech of Rome broke 
up into the Romance dialects to which it gave place. 
From Hebrew and Hellenistic Greek to Latin ; but this 
Latin again, not the rhetorical involutions of Cicero, nor 
Livy's pictured page, neither Horatian nor VirgiHan, but 
simple, elevated, moving hke the primitive style which 
it sought to reproduce ; and, yet once more, capable of 
being domestic, famiHar in their mouths as household 
words, among tribes that were not of Itahan, still less of 
Jewish pedigree — such was the amazing problem in fact 
offered to St. Jerome for solution by Pope Damasus. 
Let me quote Dean Milman's graceful tribute to his 
success in dealing with it. 

" This was his great and indefeasible title to the 
appellation of a Father of the Latin Church. What- 
ever it may owe to the older and fragmentary versions, 
Jerome's Bible is a wonderful work, still more as 
achieved by one man, and that a Western Christian. 
It almost created a new language. The inflexible 
Latin became pliant and expansive, naturaUsing 
foreign Eastern imagery, Eastern modes of expression 
and thought, and Eastern rehgious notions, most 
uncongenial to its genius and character, and yet 
retaining much of its own pecuHar strength, solidity, 
and majesty. . . . 



92 ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 

" The Vulgate was even more, perhaps, than the 

Papal power the foundation of Latin Christianity." 

(Mihnan, L.C., L 95.) 

It is, at any rate, certain that St. Jerome's version of 
Holy Scripture did become the rehgious code of the West; 
setting it free in this respect from dependence on Greek 
authorities. It contributed powerfully to make Latin 
the language of the Church and to keep it so. It inspired 
the boundless medieval Christian Uterature, from the 
sacred offices contained in Pontificale, Sacramentary, 
and Breviary, to the innumerable volumes of devotions 
and private prayers, while the philosophy and theology 
which together form what is known as the scholastic 
system borrowed terms and quotations from it without 
ceasing. Thus it served to express the visible rites, the 
active inteUigence, and the union of the spirit to which 
Rome gave a living centre. One faith, one Church, one 
Bible — a triple cord which was not easily broken. 

Well, then, might the EngUsh translators of 161 1 
acknowledge of St. Jerome how he had executed his 
task, " with that evidence of great learning, judgment, 
industry, and faithfulness, that he hath for ever bound 
the Church unto him in a debt of special remembrance 
and thankfulness." More, however, must be added to 
this commendation. In presenting future ages with an 
authentic Bible, the Saint was obeying the Pope, and 
keeping the injunction before him, " No Scripture is of 
any private interpretation." Hear a very late modem 
on this subject — I mean John Ruskin : " Partly as a 
scholar's exercise, partly as an old man's recreation," he 
says in his pecuUar way, " the severity of the Latin 
language was softened, like Venetian crystal, by the 
variable fire of Hebrew thought ; and the Book of Books 



ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 93 

took the' abiding form of which all the future art of the 
Western nations was to be an hourly enlarging interpre- 
tation. And in this matter," he maintains, " you have 
to note that the gist of it hes, not in the translation of the 
Hebrew and Greek Scriptures into an easier and a 
common language, but in their presentation to the Church 
as of common authority." He concludes: "When 
Jerome died at Bethlehem, this great deed was virtually 
accomplished ; and the series of historic and didactic 
books which form our present Bible (including the 
Apocrypha) were established in and above the nascent 
thought of the noblest races of men, as a direct message 
to them from [their] Maker." In an earlier passage 
Ruskin had observed : " It is a singular question how far, 
if Jerome at the very moment when Rome, his tutress, 
ceased from her material power, had not made her 
language the oracle of Hebrew prophecy, a literature of 
their o^\^l, and a reUgion unshadowed by the terrors of the 
Mosaic law, might not have developed itself in the hearts 
of the Goth, the Frank, and the Saxon, under Theodoric, 
Clovis, and Alfred." {Bible of Amiens, in Works, 
Vol. 33, 109, no.) 

Providence had chosen to shape the future by guiding 
the Holy See when it established the Canon of Scripture 
on lines of tradition against the pseudo- Bible of the 
Gnostics ; even as, in the second century, the Episcopate 
became the bulwark of dogma threatened on all sides by 
the same ubiquitous lUuminism. What happy gift, we 
may enquire, was bestowed on St. Jerome, so that in the 
moment of danger and decision his enthusiastic long- 
continued studies in every line of literature should have 
quahfied him for this particular task ? His reading, as 
St. Augustine knew, was universal, his memory a portent, 



94 ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 

his faculty of working without a break incredible, and 
his temper only whetted by opposition. These were 
notable advantages. But another was probably one 
which he shared with men hke the Senecas, or Martial, 
or Prudentius, namely, that he was not strictly speaking 
a Roman. Bom at Stridon, a place where Dalmatia 
bordered on Pannonia, he manifested the sort of pro- 
vincial independence which has been remarked in the 
Spaniards I have just enumerated, and in African 
writers, such as TertulHan, Cyprian, Augustine. He 
studied under the memorable Donatus, and dreamt that 
he was a Ciceronian ; but happily the accusation was a 
dream. St. Jerome's own Latin is admittedly pure, 
idiomatic, and correct in grammar as copious in vocabu- 
lary. He was an accompUshed man of letters, a some- 
what florid rhetorician, but no philosopher, httle given 
to poetry, and in disputation highly impetuous. He 
loved facts and details, geographical, historical, personal. 
Not being a metaphysician, he moved among the subtle 
Eastern dialecticians rather at random, but kept his eye 
on Rome. The abundant commentaries on Scripture, 
which fill volume after volume of Vallarsi's edition, 
quote current opinions and have the merits of an En- 
cyclopaedia, not the meditative or mystic reflection 
famiUar to St. Augustine. Hence, St. Jerome has been 
reckoned with St. John Chrysostom and the School of 
Antioch, which dwelt much on the letter of the Bible, 
despite a passing and evanescent adhesion to some of 
Origen's views, on the incidents of which it is not now 
the time to enlarge. We may define him as a late Latin 
" grammarian," a Bible scholar and critic of the hteral 
type, and a translator on definite though more or less 
unrecognised principles. He did for the Hebrew 



ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 95 

Scriptures in Latin a service in many ways resembling 
that which Cicero did for Greek philosophy in his 
Tusculan volumes and other speculative treatises. But 
in method there is no proper likeness between Cicero 
and Jerome. 

What is translation ? It has been called a literary 
device by which imequals are represented as equals ; 
for, except in strictly measuring science with its exact 
sjTubols, no two languages can be reduced to an identity, 
and the less they belong to the same group so much 
greater will be the difference. Something, then, must 
be sacrificed in the attempt. Robert Browning would 
require of a translator, "to be hteral at every cost save 
that of absolute violence to our language," were it a 
question of giving in EngUsh a work immensely famous 
like the " Agamemnon." Cardinal Newman says, " In 
a book intended for general reading, faithfulness may be 
considered simply to consist in expressing the sense of 
the original." The Septuagint, deahng with a sacred 
text, aimed at accuracy by the closest adherence to the 
words in their order, doing violence to such Greek as the 
translators knew. And this was the rule observed 
hkewise in the Old Latin, which now enables us to re- 
cover no small portion of the Greek New Testament as 
their text gave it. Scholars who yearn after primitive 
readings naturally favour this transHteration, as I am 
tempted to style it ; but from a literary point of view it 
would seem to defeat its main purpose, by leaving the 
matter itself strange and uncouth. Browning's transcript 
of the " Agamemnon " fails to win us, certainly does not 
charm, and remains a mere curiosity. Had St. Jerome 
" transcribed " the Scriptures on a method so repulsive, 
their fortunes in the West would have been very different. 



96 ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 

His general aim in translating was to give the meaning 
as well as he knew how, " non verbum e verbo, sed 
sensum exprimere de sensu " (Epp ad Pammachium, ad 
Suniam). Careful scrutiny of the most authentic 
Vulgate readings, made in comparison with what we 
may suppose to have been the Hebrew text before him, 
tends to confirm this opinion, which we can also verify 
in any particular section by simple expedients. Of 
course the translation varies in quaUty ; I have always 
greatly admired the historical Books, the Prophets, ajid 
the Book of Job ; and am glad that so competent an 
authority as Kaulen confirms my predilection (vide also 
J. A. S3nTionds' Essays). Jerome was proud with good 
reason of his Samuel and Kings. It must be granted, I 
think, that he added emphasis to some Messianic allu- 
sions ; occasionally his Latin compresses, it rarely 
expands the Hebrew ; and he avails himself now and 
then of other Greek versions besides the Seventy, as 
Aquila, Symmachus, &c. 

But I hasten to his great, his crowning merit. I 
remarked that he differs from Cicero when turning his 
original into Latin ; and this he does by permitting the 
Hebrew, so far as possible, to control the structure of his 
composition, whereas the Roman orator keeps to the 
native period, or at least subdues to it the Greek authors 
whom he was importing. More clearly stiU, — the 
vocabulary, the lexis, of Jerome is Latin undefiled ; 
the syntactical order and construction are simpUfied to 
the utmost, that so they may match or reproduce the 
Hebrew. This was a miraculous stroke, with infinite 
happy consequences. The classic style no more ; but 
one which had a wealth of Christian associations ; which 
the Church could claim as her own : which would 



ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 97 

dominate and inspire the new-springing languages of 
the West ; which, finally, would consecrate on our altar 
old Roman terms, purged of their Pagan memories, or, 
as I have said, baptised in the sacred stream of Jordan. 
That many of such terms had been already adopted is, 
of course, true ; but in the Bible now they were stereo- 
typed, made indehble, and so full of strength to recover, 
that when cast out of the EngUsh Bible by Tyndale they 
came back under Coverdale and keep their place in it to 
this day. It is impossible to exaggerate the spiritual 
and literary importance of a standard thus created, set 
up for a thousand years in sight of the nations, and 
ruling their heart, their fancy, their conduct as on an 
identical pattern. They would have been exceedingly 
slow to assimilate the artificial verse and prose of Rome's 
Augustan age ; but the Hebrew stories, songs, and 
prophecies, given to them in a simple moving rhythm, 
could not fail to become their dearest treasure. The 
Middle Ages are hke a vast Museum, picture-gallery, 
and sounding-board of the Bible — St. Jerome's Bible, 
from which it might seem all their art and wide realms 
of their poetry and romance were derived. Yet, a 
curious observation must not be passed over. If by 
his version of the Scriptures holding a supreme rank 
among books, this rude Istrian from the Danube had, 
as it were, dethroned the hterary Senate of Rome, he 
provided a shelter in which they might take refuge, 
thajiks to the monastery with its scriptorium where his 
own work was unceasingly copied. Hallam has ob- 
served, and a recent author echoes the statement, that 
" unless this Church [the Roman] had thrown a halo of 
sanctity over the Latin tongue by retaining it as the 
language of her Bible and her worship, as well as the 



98 ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 

channel of her diplomatic intercourse, her ecclesiastical 
education, and her rehgious study, the fate of classical 
learning must inevitably have been sealed." {Middle 
Ages, III., 335 seq. ; Hoare, Our English Bible, 15.) 

A time arrived, haughtily declaring itself to be the 
Revival of Letters, when those very classics which the 
devotion of Christians to their Bible had, ex ahundanti, 
preserved, were made an occasion and an instrument 
to dethrone baptised Latin for the sake of Horatian 
Sapphics and Alcaics, and in favour of Ciceronianising 
our prayers, hymns, and lections of the Breviary. The 
effect we can judge without my dwelHng upon it. Only 
this I am prepared to maintain, that in comparison with 
Patristic and Medieval Latin, of which the Vulgate is 
chief, with saintly writings such as those which extend 
from Cyprian and Augustine to Bernard and Aquinas, 
culminating in the Imitation, modem Latin works, 
be their subject never so rehgious, seem Hke shadows 
compared to sunHt and Hving realities. There is a 
glory of the Church in her language that she did not 
borrow from the Renaissance, and that no pastiche 
derived from the Gradus ad Parnassum will adequately 
reflect. On this most urgent, in some aspects most 
melancholy subject, I am happy to beheve that the 
restoration of the genuine Vulgate text will have a 
powerful and good effect. 

It would now be in order to enlarge the horizon by 
considering how the Latin Bible gave rise to partial 
versions founded on it, during the centuries in which 
neither Greek nor Hebrew was matter of learning in 
the West. For many ages they were not wanted, since 
the only readers were clerics and cloistered nuns, ac- 
quainted with ecclesiastical Latin. But in due time 



ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 99 

they began to appear, — portions, I mean, like the 
Psalter, the Gospels, and some histories from the Old 
Testament. I have given a copious Hst in the preface 
to my Tradition of Scripture, beginning with St. 
Aldhelm and King Alfred, coming down to the year 
1520. It may be said almost to cover Western and 
Northern Europe. In the second half of the thirteenth 
century a small group of scholars, among them Roger 
Bacon the Franciscan, projected a translation direct 
from the Hebrew. By that time undoubtedly St. 
Jerome's text had been spread in countless majiuscripts, 
and was liable to extensive corruption. Then came the 
printing-press, and among its very first books was the 
Latin Bible in 1456, which we call the Mazarin ; no 
fewer than ninety-eight complete editions were pub- 
lished before the year 1500. The first German Bible, 
founded on St. Jerome, came out in print not later than 
1466. Fourteen translations of the Vulgate into German, 
five into Low Dutch, are known to have existed before 
Luther imdertook his self-appointed task. From a 
collation of these with his Bible it is evident that he 
consulted previous recensions, and that his work was 
not entirely original. (Cambridge Modern Hist., I. 639.) 
Luther's Bible opens a fresh era, no less decidedly 
than did St. Jerome's eleven hundred years before. 
Two roads divide, the Catholic leading up to the Council 
of Trent and onward to the Sixtine and Clementine 
recensions, approved by their respective Pontiffs ; and 
the Protestant, which has developed into a number of 
Bible Societies, scattering millions of copies in hundreds 
of languages all over the world. On this consummation 
I have only the briefest concluding remarks to offer. 
Although non-Catholic translations profess to come 



100 ST. JEROME THE INTERPRETER 

direct from the original tongues, the influence of the 
Vulgate may still be traced in them. Especially may 
we follow it through the long and compHcated series of 
English versions down even to the last Revision. 
Wy cliff e, as is well known, had recourse only to the 
Latin ; if it be held that his choice of a particular dialect 
determined the subsequent translators to imitate him, 
consider how much this implies. When I say Wychffe, 
I am using the name impersonally for a national move- 
ment, since we do not find evidence of the man's own 
share in translation. Tyndale certainly wished to make 
an absolute beginning ; but Coverdale's version was 
derived from " the Dutch and the Latin," i.e. the 
Vulgate, as he frankly admitted. And Coverdale's 
happy renderings have been largely preserved in sub- 
sequent Bibles, as in that of Rogers, called by him the 
" Matthew " Bible, in the Prayer-Book Psalms, and, 
above all in the Authorized Version of 1611. This 
latter work, which has grown to be the standard text 
for the whole EngHsh-speaking world outside Cathohc- 
ism, owed corrections and emendations of importance 
to the Rheims New Testament, which was as Hteral a 
version of the Latin Vulgate as its very learned authors 
could achieve. It follows, then, that St. Jerome, by 
virtue of his piety, genius, industry, and approval from 
the Holy See of Rome, enjoys a kind of Bibhcal ubiquity. 
No English translation is there upon which he has not 
left his mark. To the future as to the past he will be 
known as " Doctor Maximus." And if ever the 
Authorized Version, its errors purged away, should be 
reconciled to the Cathohc Church, not a httle of St. 
Jerome's work on the Bible, direct or indirect, would be 
discerned by exploring eyes within its pages. 



VII. 
THE GENESIS OF A MYTH: 

A Note on the Supposed Origin of Tobit (Tobias.) 

By the bishop OF SALFORD. 

I WAS greatly surprised a year or two ago to read in the 
annual survey of publications and discoveries issued by 
a distinguished learned society that my late lamented 
friend and colleague, Rev. Prof. J. H. Moulton, had 
solved the origin of the Book of Tobit (Tobias) by shew- 
ing that it was a translation, or rather a Jewish redaction, 
of a Mazdean or Zoroastrian folk-story, and that he had 
succeeded in restoring the original narration, which he 
had published in his learned and really valuable work, 
Early Zoroastrianism, being the Hibbert Lectures for 
1912, published in 1913 (WilUams and Norgate). The 
discovery was proclaimed sans phrase, and I ha\e little 
doubt that in due course the statement will find its way 
into some of the popular little manuals of condensed 
learning to be found on our bookstalls and become a 
recognised scientific " fact." Now I was all the more 
interested in the statement of the above-mentioned 
annual report as I had assisted at the very birth of the 
hypothesis in question and followed the subsequent 
phrases of its growth and development. At a small 
meeting of the Manchester Oriental Society some years 
ago, Prof. Moulton suggested in a very tentative way the 
idea that had occurred to him that the Book of Tobit 

lOI 



102 THE GENESIS OF A MYTH 

possibly was based on Persian or Magian material, 
alleging two or three ingenious reasons which seemed 
to support the suggestion. I remember thinking and 
saying at the time that the hypothesis appeared based 
on at least plausible arguments, but which to me 
seemed rather far-fetched. When Moulton's excellent 
Early Zoroastrianism was pubhshed, the hypothesis 
appeared full-fledged and occupies an important part 
of the volume, including a special appendix, The 
Magian Material of Tohit, an exceedingly elaborate piece 
of work, supported by abundant notes. Let us be quite 
fair. Prof. Moulton, unlike those who have run away 
with his reconstruction, honestly warns us that the 
whole structure is hypothetical. He writes : 

" The hypothetical reconstruction referred to in 
Lecture VII, ad fin. is transferred to the more modest 
position of an appendix, lest incautious readers should 
fancy either that I am giving them a scientifically 
restored document, or that I seek for laurels in the 
unfamiliar field of fiction. My story is only a vehicle 
for points which can be more easily exhibited in this 
form. I need only observe by way of preface that the 
names are chosen from Old Persian, mostly at random, 
and Avestan words translated into that dialect, on the 
assumption that the story was thus current. It might 
of course have circulated in one of the other languages 
used in Media. The specimens of Magian wisdom 
which I have put in the mouth of the old man, the 
hero's father, I have selected often on Pahlavi 
evidence alone, and I must enter a preliminary 
caveat against assuming that Magian teachers really 
used such language at the date when this tale may 
be supposed to have originated. I claim no more for 



THE GENESIS OF A MYTH 103 

them than that since Parsi priests some centuries 
later credited them to antiquity, and they are in 
keeping with the system estabhshed by research, 
we may plausibly assume the Magian origin of these 
as of other elements actually found in our Jewish 
Book." 

Nothing can be more honest than this statement ; 
though subsequently Dr. Moulton seems to have taken 
up a more positive attitude, for in a later work he writes, 
without any reserve, of "the Median originals of Tobit 
and Tobias when they went forth to deal kindly by the 
corpses of the faithful, and took their harmless necessary 
dog with them."i The earliest tentative suggestion at 
the table of our Oriental Society had thus apparently 
become in its author's mind, — after passing through the 
stages of an elaborate hypothesis — simply a fact. 

It is not my purpose in this note to discuss in detail 
Moulton' s theory, — not even either to refute or support 
it. I am rather concerned in pointing out how a mere 
conjecture, a strictly hypothetical reconstruction, is 
gradually getting accepted as one of the proven facts of 
science. It is a legend, or if you Uke a myth, at whose 
birth we have assisted. 

Before concluding, however, there are one or two 
remarks I would like to make concerning some of Dr. 
Moulton' s arguments. 

(i) The name of the demon Asmodeus naturally 
stands in the front rank. Christian exegetes were long 
ago puzzled when it was stated that here we have clearly 
the name of a Zoroastrian demon, *Aeshmo-daeva, the 

^ The Treasure of the Magi, Oxford University Press, 191 7, 
P- 153- 



104 THE GENESIS OF A MYTH 

demon of wrath, and efforts were made to substitute a 
purely Semitic etymology, such as Ashmedai from a verb 
shamad, to destroy, and it was urged that the supposed 
Avestan form never occurs. As far back as 1884, how- 
ever, I was able to shew that such a form did really 
exist. In the important Pehlevi work Bundehesh 
(xxviii. 15) is found the name of a demon written 
Aeshmsheda, which, according to the now generally 
accepted reading of these supposed Semitic ideograms, 
would have been pronounced *Aeshmdev, strictly 
corresponding to an Avestan *Aeshmo-daeva and there- 
fore to Asmodeus.^ But not much importance can 
be attached to this fact : even in the New Testament the 
name of a heathen deity, Beelzebub, is applied to the 
prince of devils ! 

(2) The names Tobit, Tobias, seem greatly to have 
impressed Dr. Moulton as containing the Semitic 
element tob = good, whilst in the Behistan cuneiform 
inscription there are two old Persian names Vahauka 
and Vahyazdata, though not of father and son, con- 
taining the element vahu = good. He proceeds to 
" translate " the Hebrew names straightway into the 
above Persian ones ! 

(3) A very leading feature in Prof. Moulton' s story is 
the part he assigns to Tobias' dog, which he would bring 
into connexion with the Parsi sag-did, or "dog's glance," 
so efficacious a protection at the moment of death. In 
a footnote, however, he loyally quotes the objection 
raised by myself to this argument, as follows : — 

" As a serious offset against the approval of the 
editor of Tobit in the Oxford Apocrypha, pubUshed 

^ Philosophie Religieuse du Mazdeisme, Louvain, 1884, p. 84 



THE GENESIS OF A MYTH 105 

while this book was passing through the press, I 
have to record Bishop CasartelU's dissent, in an inter- 
esting letter to me (June 6, 1913). I cite the main 
part in full : — 

" ' The book strikes me rather as being of purely 
Jewish origin, but certainly written in a Mazdean 
[Magian you would say] milieu, and directly pointed 
against prevailing Mazdean ideas and practices as 
found all round. Hence the insistence on earth- 
burial as even a sacred work, directed against the 
ideas of nasus, corpse-pollution, etc. The very dog 
seems brought in as the purely domestic house dog 
— the "harmless, necessary" dog, — stripped of all 
superstitious ideas of the Sag-did. The old father 
is blinded by a swallow's dung, i.e. probably by a 
bird belonging to Ahura Mazda's realm : physical 
evil therefore is not merely a creature of Angro- 
Mainyus; and so on. I think this theme could be 
plausibly worked out.' 

" In a further letter (June 13) he adds : * I did 
not mean to suggest any very overt "polemic" in 
Tobit. It might have been all the more telling if 
merely implied in the redaction of the book, apart 
altogether from the question of its origin.' " 
So far Dr. Moulton. 

I do not intend to go through all his arguments, but 
only mention the above three as among at least the 
most plausible. But when all has been said, his "re- 
construction " of the "Median folk-story " remains a 
purely hypothetical piece of very clever work, strictly 
a romance like Quo Vadis or Ben Hur. 

I hope it will not be considered out of place to express 



io6 THE GENESIS OF A MYTH 

appreciation of the solid erudition and transparent 
honesty of one who had just risen to the rank of a fore- 
most Avestan scholar, when he was so tragically and 
prematurely carried off, a victim of "German" or rather 
Austrian " f rightfulness," on 7th April, 1917. May I 
be permitted as a personal friend to conclude : 

Quis desiderii modus . . . tam cari capitis? 



VIIL 
APPENDIX. 

Dr. Coulton and the Heavenly Witnesses. 
By the Rev. C. Lattey, S.J., M.A. 

In his pamphlet, The Roman Catholic Church and the 
Bible (pp. 18-19 in both editions) Dr. Coulton writes as 
follows : 

The text of the Three Heavenly Witnesses, for instance 
(i John V. 7), which disappeared forty years ago from the 
AngUcan Revised Version, not only remains still in the Vulgate, 
but a special Papal decree of 1897 has expHcitly forbidden the 
faithful to "deny or call into doubt" the authenticity of this 
interpolation, which no theologian outside the Roman com- 
munion would dare to defend as genuine. For years, therefore, 
Roman Catholic Bible-study has been in this impossible 
situation. Every Roman Catholic theologian with an ele- 
mentary knowledge of textual criticism is aware . , . [there 
follows a summary of the textual evidence]. . . . Yet if, while 
this decree stands still unrevoked^, a Roman Cathohc Professor 
of theology should pubhcly draw from these universally- 
acknowledged facts the common-sense conclusion which every- 
body else has drawn, and if he had the courage to stand by 
his own words, he would be cut off from his Professorship and 
from the communion of his Church. 

But this absurdity, on the face of it almost incredible, has 
behind it a very sufficient reason from the point of view of 
ecclesiastical disciphne. In the great acumenical Council of 
1215 (4th Lateran), Innocent III. incautiously argued from 
this spurious text in his condemnation of Abbot Joachim's 
doctrine of the Trinity; and everybody who joins the Roman 
CathoUc Church has to subscribe to the Creed of Pope Pius IV. , 
which binds him to "receive unhesitatingly all things handed 
down, defined and decreed" by this Lateran Council among 
others. It is therefore almost as difficult for the Church to 
admit the results of scholarly research in the case of the Three 
Witnesses as in that similar case of Gen. iii. 15. . . . 

1 In a note to the second edition this is corrected to " while this decree has 
any living force." 



io8 APPENDIX 

It will be observed that in this second paragraph there 
is no longer question, as in the first paragraph, merely 
of an obedient silence, but of what is involved in a 
positive profession of faith, and the conclusion is in- 
evitable — though I have since been given reason to 
doubt whether Dr. Coulton really meant to draw it — 
that "every Roman Catholic theologian" professes 
belief in what he knows to be untrue. Surely this is 
enough to explain "the concentration of all my critics 
on this particular point" (ed. 2, p. 44), so far as there 
was such concentration, without regarding it as a mere 
matter of strategy! Judging, after some private dis- 
cussion with others, that the matter had not been 
sufficiently cleared up, and chiefly with an eye to our 
own Catholics, I determined to prefix some further 
remarks upon the subject to my own lecture upon the 
Prophets. Dr. Coulton had disappeared from the 
Congress at an early stage, being pressed to finish up 
some necessary work, as he explained to me, before going 
on his holiday. In his second edition Dr. Coulton 
reprints my remarks from the Tablet; I reproduce them 
here from my original manuscript, but the differences 
are absolutely insignificant: 

Before coming to the proper subject of my paper, the prophets 
I may perhaps be allowed to offer a few remarks on the subject 
of the passage in the New Testament often called the passage 
concerning the Heavenly Witnesses (i John v. 7), which was 
brought up in a pamphlet pubhshed in Cambridge a Uttle before 
the Congress, and has also come up for discussion during the 
Congress itself. I desire to make four points clear: 

(i) I think I may safely say that hardly any scholar, 
Cathohc or otherwise, would nowadays deny that the passage 
is an interpolation in the text, that it was not present either in 
the original Greek text ot the New Testament, or in St. Jerome's 
original translation. 

(2) In spite of an assertion to the contrary, I also regard it 
as clear that Pope Innocent III. in no way commits himself to 



APPENDIX 



109 



the text, but only brings it in where he is quoting the Abbot 
Joachim, who used the passage. The Pope's own definition 
does not come tih later. 

(3) The Council of Trent declared the Vulgate authentic, 
that is, official. It is clear from contemporary documents that 
this was not done because the Vulgate was considered faultless, 
but, among other reasons, because it was considered safe. The 
decree of the Holy Office that has been often alluded to {Acta 
Sanctae Sedis, Vol. 29, p. 637) declared the passage of the 
Heavenly Witnesses authentic in the same sense; that is, it 
was part of the then official Vulgate, and such it was to remain. 
This interpretation was confirmed to Cardinal Vaughan, to 
whom it was explained that textual criticism as such was not 
touched. {Revue Biblique, Vol. vii., i8g8, p. 149.) 

(4) Finally, it has been said that Catholic professors, 
knowing the passage not to be geniune, dare not manifest their 
knowledge pubUcly, for fear of being turned out of the Church. 
To this it is a sufficient answer to indicate two works, pub- 
fished with a Catholic imprimatur: (i) Das Comma Joanneum 
by Dr. Kiinstle, pubfished some years ago by Herder, wherein 
the author argues well for the view that the passage of the 
Heavenly Witnesses has for its author PriscilHan — not therefore 
St. John or St. Jerome. (2) Dr. Vogels' edition of the New 
Testament in Greek, pubfished last year by Schwann of Dussel- 
dorf, wherein the passage does not appear in the text at all, 
but only among the rejected variants at the foot of the page. 

I hope, therefore, that I have made it clear that Cathofic 
scholars may and do treat the passage as an interpolation, and 
that the accusation of dishonesty made against them is without 
foundation. 

The argument from the two printed books — others 
might be mentioned — is so decisive as practically to 
dispose of the whole matter; and indeed Dr. Coulton 
appears to realize its force, but none the less devotes 
nine pages of close print to covering his retreat, with 
M. Loisy and his career for smoke-screen. Two points, 
however, he urges in a way that calls for some further 
comment : 

(i) Dr. Coulton writes in his main text, " Innocent III. 
incautiously argued from this spurious text" (p. 18), 
following in this a mistake of Prof. Pohle in a Catholic 
work. Herder's Realencyclopddie (ed. 2, p. 45). In reply 



no APPENDIX 

I point out that Pope Innocent III. is merely quoting 
the Abbot Joachim, whom he is condemning. Dr. 
Coulton now writes (p. 46) that the Pope "showed no 
hesitation about accepting the verse as a sound basis of 
argument." As a matter of fact there is no sign as to 
what the Pope thought about the verse as a "basis of 
argument," and my own assertion remains true, that 
"Pope Innocent III. in no way commits himself to the 
text." 

(2) Dr. Coulton finds my explanation of the word 
authentic as meaning official, "a most extraordinary 
perversion of a plain word. . . . Father Lattey may 
safely be defied, I think, to produce any authority for 
using the word authentic in this sense, until the days 
when modem apologists first thought of escaping 
through this misinterpretation from an otherwise un- 
tenable position" (p. 46). And yet it was to "contem- 
porary documents" that I appealed, and indeed I in- 
dicated the main document to Dr. Coulton at the 
Congress, though only cursorily, pointing out to him 
my appendix on "the Vulgate reading in i Corinthians 
XV. 51," in the Westminster Version, and the reference 
in the footnote to Pallavicino, Istoria del Concilio di 
Trento, lib. vi., cap. xvii. " When the Fathers of Trent," 
I have written in that appendix, "made the Vulgate 
the official version of the Church by declaring it authentic, 
they by no means intended to guarantee all its readings ; 
on the contrary, difhculties were raised in Rome on this 
head, and to secure the Pope's approbation of the decree 
the legates at the Council had first to explain that the 
Vulgate was adopted as the official version, not because 
it had no mistaken readings, but because it had never 
been convicted of heresy." The relevant passage in 



APPENDIX III 

the letter is given by Pallavicino. Vega also, one of the 
theologians at the Council, in his work De lustificaiione 
(Book XV., chap. 9) mentions that one of the legates at 
Trent, Cardinal Cervini, told him several times that the 
Fathers adopted the Vulgate, not because it was free 
from wrong readings, but because it was safe. 

In the light of all this it is clear in what sense the 
deputies for abuses at Trent recommended that only 
one edition of Scripture should be allowed as authentic 
{Concilium Tridentinum, ed. Societas Goerresiana: 
Tomus v., p. 29; and see Vulgata editio in index), and in 
what sense the decree of the Council itself should be 
understood. Even in the preface to the Clementine 
Vulgate, itself referred to by Dr. Coulton, it is plainly 
imphed that the edition is not perfect textually; it is 
said, for example, that the object proposed was to 
restore the Vulgate text, not to correct it. The fact is, 
Dr. Coulton has not realized what a big thing it was to 
make the Vulgate the official text, and what important 
results that measure still has even today. He speaks 
as though it were a matter of no consequence at all, 
just as it suits him to speak slightingly of the Revue 
Bihlique ; in dealing with these matters he is a little out 
of his element. 

Nevertheless, since the title of his pamphlet is The 
Roman Catholic Church and the Bible, I regret that he 
should not have done the Church the justice to admit 
that she has been practically alone in this country in 
steadily defending the divine truth of the Bible as the 
written word of God. From abusing her for not making 
enough of the Holy Scriptures, Protestants have passed 
and are passing to abusing her for making too much of 
them. After pinning their faith to the Bible and the 



112 APPENDIX 

Bible alone, in a manner entirely contrary to the teaching 
of the Bible itself, they have come and are coming to 
treat it with no more respect (if not indeed with less) 
than they would a merely human document. Mean- 
while the Catholic Church holds fast to the golden mean, 
following therein the teaching of Scripture itself. To 
ignore such tremendous facts as these, while raising a 
multitude of relatively minor issues, is surely to come 
near to straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. 



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